At least 12 police officers and seven bystanders were injured after protesters turned violent in Charlotte on Tuesday night following a fatal officer-involved shooting.
Officers were attempting to serve an arrest warrant at an apartment complex Tuesday afternoon when they found Keith Lamont Scott, 43, sitting in a vehicle in the parking lot of the apartment complex. Although Scott was not the person they were searching for, officers said he stepped out of his vehicle while holding a firearm. Scott then got back into his car and emerged for a second time, still holding a gun.
Officers on the scene felt Scott “posed an imminent deadly threat to the officers” and he was subsequently tasered then shot. Scott was taken to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
Authorities confirmed they recovered the gun carried by Scott, but the man’s family insists he wasn’t carrying a firearm and was simply sitting in his car and reading a book while waiting for his son to come home from school. Scott’s daughter posted an hour-long, emotionally-charged video on social media as police converged on the scene. She stated repeatedly that her father was killed “for being black.” The officer who shot Scott is also black.
Meanwhile, protesters gathered together and demonstrations quickly turned violent, with rioters shutting down the freeway, smashing the windows of patrol cars as well as those of innocent bystanders. Rioters even broke into tractor trailers they trapped on the freeway and began burning the cargo in the middle of the freeway. One truck driver, who was trapped in her truck, spoke with reporters on the phone and expressed fear for her life after she was targeted for such acts.
As officers tried to leave the shooting scene, protesters surrounded them, keeping them from leaving. The Civil Emergency Unit had to be called in to extract the officers, as well as civilians from the scene. Twelve officers as well as seven civilians were left injured, including one officer who was struck in the face with a rock. All of the injuries were said to be non-life threatening.
[ Washington Post ]