Protesters confront Charlotte police after fatal OIS, 12 cops injured
A black police officer shot an armed black man Tuesday, authorities said, prompting angry street protests late into the night
By Tom Foreman Jr.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A black police officer shot an armed black man at an apartment complex Tuesday, authorities said, prompting angry street protests late into the night.
The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department tweeted that demonstrators were destroying marked police vehicles and that approximately 12 officers had been injured, including one who was hit in the face with a rock. Television coverage showed police firing tear gas to break up the crowd. The protests came just hours after another demonstration in Tulsa, Oklahoma, over the shooting there of an unarmed black man by police.
Charlotte police went to the complex about 4 p.m. looking for a suspect with an outstanding warrant when they saw the man — not the suspect they were looking for — inside a car, department spokesman Keith Trietley said in a statement.
Agitators destroying marked police units. CEU continues to work to restore order and protect our community. pic.twitter.com/ZSYSt374w0— CMPD News (@CMPD) September 21, 2016
Officers saw the man get out of the car with a gun and then get back in, Trietley said. When officers approached, the man exited the car with the gun again. At that point, officers deemed the man a threat and at least one fired a weapon, he said.
The man, identified as 43-year-old Keith Lamont Scott, was taken to Carolinas Medical Center and pronounced dead.
Officer Brentley Vinson, who shot Scott, has been placed on administrative leave, which is standard procedure in such cases. Vinson has been with the department for two years.
RAW VIDEO: Street protests in Charlotte after police shooting. https://t.co/197OYpXjfB— The Associated Press (@AP) September 21, 2016
Detectives recovered a firearm at the scene and were interviewing witnesses, Trietley said.
Police blocked access to the area, which is about a mile from the campus of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, as protesters gathered after the shooting.
Video from WCCB-TV in Charlotte showed police in riot gear stretched across a two-lane road confronting protesters at the apartment complex later in the night. Some of the officers flanked the main line on one side of the road.
Some protesters were heard yelling "Black lives matter," and "Hands up, don't shoot!" One person held up a sign saying "Stop Killing Us."
Other footage showed protesters lingering around a police vehicle after shattering its windows.
Earlier, a tow truck was brought in to take another police cruiser away. Local media outlets reported that car suffered damage to its rear end.
One television news crew retreated from the scene after demonstrators began rocking their remote van, which was parked near the apartment complex where the shooting occurred.
Charlotte Mayor Jennifer Roberts appealed for calm and tweeted that "the community deserves answers."
In Tulsa, hundreds of people rallied outside police headquarters calling for the firing of police officer Betty Shelby, who shot 40-year-old Terence Crutcher on Friday in a confrontation that was captured on police dashcam and helicopter video.
Shelby's attorney has said Crutcher was not following the officers' commands and that Shelby was concerned because he kept reaching for his pocket as if he was carrying a weapon. An attorney representing Crutcher's family says Crutcher committed no crime and gave officers no reason to shoot him.
Local and federal investigations into that shooting are ongoing.
Copyright 2016 The Associated Press