The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Monday August 8th

Protests erupt over police killing of black man in Charlotte

According to the CMPD, 12 officers were injured during the protest Tuesday. Wednesday night’s protest left one civilian on life support after being shot by another civilian, police said.

Gov. Pat McCrory declared a state of emergency and called in the National Guard late Wednesday.

Original accounts of the killing had Scott reading a book in his car before being confronted by police, who had a warrant for a different man.

While this account prompted local and national outcry, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Chief Kerr Putney detailed a different sequence of events during a press conference on Wednesday.

Putney said Scott was armed and didn’t drop his handgun despite repeated calls to from Officer Brentley Vinson, prompting the officer’s use of deadly force.

“A weapon was seized — a handgun,” he said. “I can also tell you we did not find a book.”

Mike Meno, spokesperson for the N.C. American Civil Liberties Union, said Vinson was not wearing a body camera even though state law requires it, and the Charlotte-Mecklenberg Police Department has so far declined to release footage from other officers’ body cameras.

“In incidents like this where you have conflicting reports from police and community members, it’s incredibly important that police be transparent,” he said. “And video footage of this encounter can shed a light on what actually happened.”

Police departments will be prevented from releasing body camera footage unless under court order when House Bill 972 goes into effect on Oct. 1.

Politicians and advocacy groups from across the state weighed in on the situation through a litany of press releases. McCrory and Sen. Richard Burr both called for a chance for police to complete their investigation.

Sen. Thom Tillis said the response to the shooting resulted in chaos before praising CMPD.

“It was an embarrassing moment for the city that was only redeemed by the brave men and women of the CMPD who demonstrated incredible composure, which likely prevented the violence from escalating further,” he said in the statement.

Tre Shockley, president of the UNC Black Student Movement, said he was unhappy with how police had been trying to stop the protests.

“It seemed like they were trying to quell the protesting and rioting that was going on by saying the officer that killed the man was black,” he said. “That’s really not the point ... it’s really just the fact that deadly force is being used repeatedly without it being a lethal situation for the officer.”

Meno said the night was a wake up call for the state.

“We’ve seen too many instances where people of color are victims of police violence, where they’ve been wrongfully targeted, where excessive use of force occurred,” he said. “And last night we were again reminded that North Carolina is not immune to that reality.”

Ignite N.C., a grassroots activist group, organized protests in HBCUs across the state and called Scott’s death a lynching.

Shockley said he was tired of seeing his people killed.

“My reaction to the shooting is just, not again, you know?” he said. “It’s just very frustrating to see these things happen over and over, and no real policy changes are being made.”


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