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State of Emergency: Charlotte protests continue for second night

By Tonya Maxwell and Doug Stanglin, USA TODAY Network

As city and state officials, backed by the National Guard, sought to restore calm after a second night of angry protests, Mayor Jennifer Roberts said she hoped to see video Thursday that could help determine what took place during the police-involved fatal shooting of a black man.

One person was shot and four officers were injured in the latest round of violence Wednesday night that followed a peaceful protest.

With police in riot gear patrolling downtown streets, protesters shouted “hands up, don’t shoot,” banged against a police van and broke a window of the City Smoke barbecue restaurant and bar. Police set off smoke bombs, which are sometimes used to disperse crowds.

Gov. Pat McCrory declared a state of emergency to deploy the National Guard and the state Highway Patrol to assist local police.

Mayor Roberts told ABC News’ Good Morning America that city officials were considering imposing a curfew for Thursday night.

The non-fatal shooting was “civilian on civilian” and the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department did not fire the shot, the City of Charlotte said via Twitter.

Four officers suffered non-life threatening injuries Wednesday night, police said on Twitter. Sixteen officers were injured during the first night of unrest, when shops were also looted, windows shattered and fires set following a peaceful protest.

The Bank of America, headquartered in Charlotte, urged employees to stay home Thursday due to the ongoing unrest, WBTV reported.

Public anger erupted Tuesday evening after a black police officer shot and killed Kevin Lamont Scott, who was waiting in his car for his son’s school bus in the afternoon.

Several local residents said the 43-year-old father of seven regularly waited in his car and read until his son arrived. They claimed he was carrying a book, not a gun, when he stepped from the car after police approached.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Chief Kerr Putney has rejected those claims and said the gun had been recovered by detectives. No book was found, Putney said.

Police, who were serving a warrant at a nearby apartment complex, also said Scott refused direct orders from offices to drop the weapon. Todd Walther, a spokesman for the Charlotte Fraternal Order of Police, tells CNN that video of the incident shows that Scott “was given clear command to drop that weapon when he exited the vehicle and he did not.”

Police said the plainclothes officer, identified as Brently Vinson, who shot has been placed on leave, standard procedure in such cases. The incident is being investigated by a separate state agency.


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