After two nights of rioting and confrontations with police, Charlotte Mayor Jennifer Roberts said she has not yet decided to impose a curfew order tonight. Scores of mostly black people roamed the streets of downtown Charlotte after news spread on September 19 that a black man was shot by police. Authorities are still looking into the shooting and have agreed to show bodycam footage of the shooting to the family of Keith Scott. Scott was shot by a black police officer and, according to police, was in possession of a pistol in his hand when he confronted police.
Mayor Roberts told ABC News' Good Morning America program this morning, “We certainly are going to talk about that today. We did sign a statement last night to declare a state of emergency, which gives us that authority.” She added, “I will be consulting with our city manager and our police chief and other leaders in our response team to see if that might be a good idea for tonight.”
Roberts has been in consultation with President Barack Obama. She is a former U.S. diplomat who ran an unsuccessful campaign for the US House of Representatives as a Democrat.
The North Carolina city erupted in violence after a plainclothes officer of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department shot 43-year-old Keith Scott. Investigators recovered a gun at the scene of the shooting. There are reports that Scott had a holster strapped to one leg. According to police, an officer shot him because he was not obeying police orders to not exit his vehicle and to drop his weapon.
Scott’s family has claimed that he was unarmed and was holding a book while waiting for his son. Scott's daughter posted livestream video of the aftermath and claimed that police shot him "just because he is black."
At least 16 police officers were injured on the evening of September 20 as angry demonstrations turned into rioting and looting. A semi-trailer was waylaid on a highway in Charlotte and its cargo was thrown out into the street and burned by the rioters. Shop windows were smashed, police vehicles damaged, and multiple acts of vandalism and arson were committed. One person was arrested. Last night, a black man was shot and is currently in intensive care in a local hospital.
Mayor Roberts, while speaking today to ABC, called on the public to peacefully express their views and work together. Officials are preparing for the worst, she said. “This is not the Charlotte that I grew up in, the Charlotte that I know,” she said. “We are preparing for this evening, and we know that a peaceful protest and many folks who do want to express their view peacefully turned into something else last night.”
Gov. Pat McCrory of North Carolina has declared a state of emergency and called for the National Guard.
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