3rd Night Of Charlotte Protests Is Peaceful; Protester Shot Wednesday Dies

Sep 23, 2016
Originally published on September 23, 2016 1:03 pm

Protests in Charlotte, N.C., continued for a third night — without the violence of earlier demonstrations. Police officers and National Guard troops shared the streets with marchers protesting a fatal police shooting earlier this week.

Jay Price of member station WUNC describes the mood as "mellow," and says that police and protest leaders worked to keep the marchers moving, doing laps of uptown Charlotte.

Several hundred protesters marched through downtown, NPR's Greg Allen reports, "stopping at government buildings and the city jail, where prisoners inside banged on their windows and flashed the lights in their cells."

No injuries were reported, Greg says.

The city imposed a midnight to 6 a.m. curfew, but when peaceful protests continued past midnight, officers did not enforce the curfew.

Officials say that unless revoked, the curfew will remain in place for as long as the city's state of emergency, declared by the governor late Wednesday, continues.

Meanwhile, police say a man shot during Wednesday night's demonstrations died on Thursday.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department spokesman Keith Trietley says the victim of the shooting has been identified as 26-year-old Justin Carr, who was pronounced dead at Carolinas Medical Center.

City officials said Wednesday night that the victim had died, but then corrected the statement to say he was in critical condition.

Trietley says the Homicide Unit is investigating Carr's death. Last night city officials said Carr was shot by a civilian, not police, though some protesters contest that.

Carr was shot during a chaotic demonstration that began as a vigil in memory of Keith Lamont Scott, 43, who was shot by a plainclothes officer identified as Brentley Vinson. The officer has been placed on leave while that shooting is investigated. As the Two-Way reported, the facts of Scott's death are in dispute:

"Police say he came out of the vehicle with a gun. At a press conference on Wednesday, Charlotte-Mecklenburg police Chief Kerr Putney said that officers gave the man multiple verbal warnings to drop his weapon before he was shot.

"Putney says a handgun was recovered on the scene, and that witnesses corroborated the officer's accounts."

Scott's daughter maintains that her father was not armed, and was sitting in his vehicle reading a book.

Both Vinson and Scott are black.

Many of the protesters on Thursday night — as on previous nights — were calling for the release of police video footage of the shooting, The Associated Press reports.

The footage, recorded on police body cameras and dashcams, has not been released to the public. Charlotte's police chief said at a press conference that it supports "the version of the truth" described by police, but that he has no plans to release the footage.

Scott's family viewed two police videos on Thursday.

"After watching the videos, the family again has more questions than answers," one of the attorneys for Scott's family said in a statement. "It is impossible to discern from the videos what, if anything, Mr. Scott is holding in his hands."

The family says the footage showed Scott walking slowly backward with his hands by his sides when he was shot. They called for the police department to "immediately release" the footage they saw to the public.

Later on Friday, one video was released to the public — but not from a police camera. It was cell phone footage apparently filmed by Scott's wife, Rakeyia Scott, which captured her pleading with the police not to shoot her husband.

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