Yaron Steinbuch and Joe Tacopino
Thursday, September 22, 2016
Charlotte Under STATE of EMERGENCY!
Yaron Steinbuch and Joe Tacopino
UPDATE: The city of Charlotte mistakenly announced one person was killed during protests and have since issued a correction.
A second night of police-protest rioting turned bloody in Charlotte, NC, Wednesday, with one civilian on life support after being shot by another civilian.
Officers in riot gear dispersed tear gas and launched flash grenades in a tense standoff with a violent crowd one day after cops fatally shot Keith Lamont Scott, a father of seven, outside his condominium complex.
Gov. Pat McCrory — former longtime mayor of Charlotte — declared a state of emergency and deployed the National Guard to help assist local law enforcement.
“We cannot tolerate violence. We cannot tolerate the destruction of property and will not tolerate the attacks towards our police officers that are occurring right now, and I feel very strongly about that,”McCrory told CNN. “That is not the American way.”
Wednesday night’s victim was shot at about 8 p.m. in front of the Omni Hotel. He was in critical condition, city officials said.
They did not release his name by early Thursday.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department officials said no officers had fired their weapons Wednesday night.
A hospital spokesperson said seven law-enforcement officers were taken to hospitals during the protests, but their injuries were not immediately detailed.
In the upscale downtown section of Charlotte, demonstrators smashed windows in several stores, including the NBA Hornets’ fan shop.
Others stood on cars and threw objects at police. Cops then responded with tear gas, sending the protesters scattering.
“We are working to bring peace and calm to our city. We know this is not who Charlotte is,” Mayor Jennifer Roberts said on CNN, calling on people to stay home and off the streets.
“Tell everyone that violence is not the answer,” she said.
Roberts added that authorities would consider “possibly curfews and that sort of thing, but right now, we are continuing to work with what we have tonight.”
Images on social media showed clashes between protesters and cops in riot gear.
In one video posted online, police descended on a violent agitator as smoke from tear gas canisters filled the air. He was quickly taken into custody while officers, using batons, fended off other protesters.
News crews were also targeted. One TV reporter was knocked to the ground during a live, on-air segment, and a news van’s windows were smashed.
Protesters shouted, “Black lives matter!” and “Hands up; don’t shoot!” and cursed at officers while blocking intersections with their bicycles.
The violence broke out even as Police Chief Kerr Putney said Scott had ignored several warnings to drop his handgun before police opened fire Tuesday.
Putney refuted claims made on social media that Scott was unarmed when he was shot.
“It’s time to change the narrative, because I can tell you from the facts that the story’s a little bit different as to how it’s been portrayed so far, especially through social media,” Putney said.
The chief was apparently referring to a Facebook video posted by a woman claiming to be Scott’s daughter.
Lyric Scott said in the video that Scott was unarmed and reading a book while waiting for a school bus to drop off his son.
She alleged he was killed “for being black.”
But Putney said Scott was repeatedly warned to drop his gun when he got out of his car and then went back in. It was unclear if Scott was pointing his gun at police.
“The officers gave loud, clear verbal commands, which were also heard by many of the witnesses,” the chief said.
Scott again exited the car with the gun “and posed an imminent deadly threat to the officers,” police said in a statement.
Officer Brentley Vinson, the black cop involved in the shooting, was in plainclothes and not wearing a camera — though he did have on a vest marked “Police,” Putney said.
He was placed on administrative leave, as is standard procedure in such cases.
Scott’s daughter disagreed with the chief’s version of events.
“The police just shot my daddy four times for being black!” Lyric Scott screamed in the video.
“They said, ‘Hands up! He got a gun! He got a gun!’ Pow! Pow! Pow! Pow! That’s it — he had no gun.”
But police said detectives recovered a gun at the scene.
“We did not find a book that has been referenced to,” Putney said. “We did find a weapon.”
Scott had several brushes with the law, including a 2004 conviction for misdemeanor assault with a deadly weapon.
He also pleaded guilty to carrying a concealed weapon — which was not a gun — and assault in 1992 cases.