CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP/WNCN) — The Charlotte police chief said 16 officers were injured in protests following the fatal shooting of an armed man Wednesday afternoon.
Charlotte police went to an apartment complex about 4 p.m. looking for a suspect with an outstanding warrant when they saw a man — not the suspect they were looking for — inside a car.
Chief Kerr Putney said Keith Lamont Scott was the man in that vehicle.
Officers saw Scott get out of the car and then get back in.
When officers approached, Scott then exited the car with a handgun and was shot, according to Putney.
“Officers gave loud, clear verbal commands, which were also heard by others nearby,” Putney said.
The chief said evidence collected from the scene is still being processed, including video of the incident. Putney said the officer who shot Scott was not wearing a body camera.
“We did not find a book,” Putney said. “We did find a weapon.” Putney could not confirm if that handgun was loaded.
The streets in Charlotte were quiet Wednesday morning after angry protests over the shooting. Protesters blocked Interstate 85 and looted semi-trucks, setting their contents on fire, Putney said.
“We have a challenge here in Charlotte. People watching how we react. The story is a little bit different than how it is being portrayed on social media,” Putney said.
No protesters could be seen around 5 a.m. but broken glass and rocks littered the ground where a police car had been vandalized during protests earlier. Less than 5 miles away, wooden pallets barricaded the entrance to a Wal-Mart that had apparently been looted.
“I absolutely expect more arrests to be made for those that broke the law,” Putney said.
The protests broke out Tuesday after 43-year-old Scott was fatally shot by a black officer at an apartment complex on the city’s northeast side.
Tuesday morning, the family of Scott held a conference in response to the shooting.
B.J. Murphy with the Nation of Islam called for a economic boycott of the city of Charlotte at that press conference.
“Don’t spend no money on no white folks who don’t respect us,” Murphy said. “We are offended because we don’t get no justice.”
Murphy said a “Black Wall Street” needed to be created in Charlotte.
The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department tweeted that demonstrators were destroying marked police vehicles.
Putney said a total of 16 officers had been injured, including one who was hit in the face with a rock.
Television coverage showed police firing tear gas to break up the crowd. The protests came just hours after another demonstration in Tulsa, Oklahoma, over the shooting there of an unarmed black man by police.
NC Gov. Pat McCrory issued the following statement:
I’ve been in conversations with the mayor and other city officials since early this morning. We will do everything we can to support the mayor and the police chief in their efforts to keep the community calm and to get this situation resolved. It’s very important that we all work together as a team to solve a very difficult issue and to bring peace and resolution. My prayers are with the Scott family and also our law enforcement, especially the 16 police officers who were injured last night. As governor I’m going to do everything I can to support the entire city leadership in their effort to resolve this situation.