Charlotte protests: curfew imposed as Scott family view footage of killing

Protesters block roads on third night of unrest as Scott family says police videos of shooting sparks more questions than answers

Protesters and police in Charlotte confronted each other for a third evening, on Thursday night, in a roaming demonstration as the family of police shooting victim Keith Scott said it still had more questions than answers after privately viewing footage of his killing.

Police used tear gas to disperse a crowd of hundreds on the John Belk freeway, where they had blocked traffic. The clash led the mayor, Jennifer Roberts, to declare a midnight curfew a step she had declined to take earlier in the day.

As the evening began, a small crowd of people nothing like the crowds of Wednesday night gathered in Charlottes Uptown neighborhood. Their main rallying cry was release the tapes, a reference to police video of Scotts death on Tuesday, shot by officers in the parking lot of the apartment complex where he lived on the east side of town.

Meanwhile, Scotts family was shown in private two police body camera videos of the officer shooting him dead.

Justin Bamberg, an attorney for the family, said in the statement: While police did give him several commands, he did not aggressively approach them or raise his hands at members of law enforcement at any time.

It is impossible to discern from the videos what, if anything, Mr Scott is holding in his hands, the statement said, adding that Scotts hands were by his sides and he was slowly walking backward.

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A state of emergency has been declared in Charlotte and a midnight curfew was imposed by mayor Jennifer Roberts. Photograph: Sean Rayford/Getty Images

On Thursday, police chief Kerr Putney told a news conference that the video of Scott does show the 43-year-old was holding a gun and not a book, as the family has claimed. I can tell you we did not find a book. But, he said, it did not clearly show Scott pointing the gun at anyone.

Later Putney changed his message, saying that on the video he could not see Scotts hands at all.

On the streets, police took a decidedly different approach Thursday night to the night before; instead of a large, central phalanx, they and National Guardsmen stood in small groups on every street corner. They wore no riot gear, and kept a low profile, letting the crowds march throughout the neighborhood.

At the site where protester Justin Carr, 26, was injured during the upheaval Wednesday night, visitors left tokens memorial, lit candles and sang.

There were signs the authorities were ready for violence. Helicopters swung around the downtown sky and Humvee vehicles stayed tucked on side streets. But on the central downtown blocks, police rode in golf carts and on bicycles.

Several local pastors engaged people on the sidewalks, interrupting arguments that seemed near overheating.

Eunice Lowe, 61, had a close-up view on both nights. She lives on a bench near the intersection of Tryon and Trade streets, where she put out a small hand-painted Black Lives Matter sign.

Last night I thought I might go deaf, she said, referring to the flash-bang projectiles and tear gas canisters.

She was saddened to hear that Carr, who was injured on her block, had died. No, no, she said.

As the crowd dissolved downtown on Thursday night, a new one gathered on the freeway, where protesters stopped cars. Eventually police in riot gear formed a wall between the protesters and the roadway.

Riot

Riot police push protesters off the highway during another night of protests over the police shooting of Keith Scott in Charlotte, North Carolina. Photograph: Mike Blake/Reuters

Details of what happened to Carr have been muddled, with conflicting explanations from city officials. At first Putney said the man had died Wednesday night, and then that announcement was reversed, and then remade on Thursday.

The city also said the man, whose name had not been released, was injured during a civilian on civilian shooting. But that explanation seemed increasingly tenuous by Thursday afternoon.

There was no fight, said Eddie Thomas, an attorney and Charlotte public defender. He was at the intersection in question to observe interactions between police and the public, he said. There was no issue between protesters. It just didnt happen.

Thomass account agrees with what other witnesses claimed to see. I saw the police shoot that man almost point blank with my own eyes, Jimmy James Tyson wrote on Facebook afterward. Police shot him close range in the side of the head with a rubber bullet.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/sep/23/charlotte-protests-curfew-keith-scott-family-view-footage-of-killing

The post Charlotte protests: curfew imposed as Scott family view footage of killing appeared first on Family Questions Information Answers.

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