Violence broke out during protests in Chartlotte, N.C. last night following the fatal shooting of a black man near the University of North Carolina Charlotte campus, The Washington Postreports.
Keith Lamont Scott was killed by police Tuesday afternoon, while they were searching for a suspect with an outstanding warrant. While Scott was not the suspect, he got out of his car holding a firearm as police approached him, according to the Post. CNN reports that officers repeatedly told Scott to drop his weapon, but when he didn't, Officer Brentley Vinson, who is also black, shot him.
Scott's daughter claimed that Scott had been unarmed when he was shot and was simply reading a book in his car. The Post reports that police recovered Scott's firearm at the scene, but said they did not find a book. The officer was not wearing a body camera, but other officers there at the time were wearing them, according to NBC News. There are no plans as of now to release those videos to the public.
The protests that followed Tuesday night left over two dozen people injuring, including 12 police officers. According to the Post, the protests began peacefully, but ended with "police in riot gear firing tear gas and rubber bullets at demonstrators and some people smashing out the the windows of police cars." The protest culminated on Interstate 85, which police used flash grenades to clear early Wednesday morning.
Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch criticized the violence of police and protestors at a news conference Wednesday morning, saying, “Protest is protected by our Constitution and is a vital instrument for raising issues and creating change. But when it turns violent, it undermines the very justice that it seeks to achieve and I urge those demonstrating in Charlotte to remain peaceful in their expressions of protest and concern.”
North Carlonia Senator Thom Tillis called the protests, "an embarassing moment for the city."
Hearing now from Senator Thom Tillis- he calls the response to the shooting "an embarrassing moment for the city."pic.twitter.com/zL5OA5KA8t
— Joe Bruno (@JoeBrunoWSOC9) September 21, 2016
Protesters at the scene expressed frustration that police killings of black men and women continue to happen frequently.
"When will our lives truly matter? A black father is dead. There are children tonight who will never see their father again," Corine Mack, president of the Charlotte chapter of the NAACP, told CNN. "It clearly appears as if our lives don't matter. We need to change policies. We need to change procedure. We need to hold police accountable. It's a modern-day lynching. Charlotte is not a good place right now; we're in the throes of this problem."
Those injured in the protest, including a police officer hit in the face with a rock, were treated for non-life-threatening injuries at local hospitals.