A night of very violent protests was kicked off in Charlotte, North Carolina after another police shooting of an African American man.
Officers turned up to an apartment complex to serve a warrant to a different man when Keith Lamont Scott stepped out of his car and was then fatally shot by police. However, what started the riots that took place all night and into early Wednesday morning, was the reason the police say they shot Scott.
Police say that Scott stepped out of his car holding a gun. They ordered Scott to drop the gun several times and when he didn’t an African American police officer opened fire, killing Scott. The officer has since been put on leave while the case is investigated.
On the other side, Scott’s family, he was the father of seven, says that Scott was in his car reading a book and stepped out to go inside when police shot him. His family claims that it was the book that cops mistook for a gun.
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Police officials have claimed that no books were discovered at the crime scene and blame social media for spreading this false narrative that created the riots.
“It’s time to change the narrative” -Charlotte police chief on Keith Lamont Scott shooting and protests https://t.co/zngx4H3Iaa
— NBC News (@NBCNews) September 21, 2016
“It’s time for the voiceless majority to stand up and be heard,” the police chief, who is also black, said Wednesday.
“It’s time to change the narrative because I can tell you from the facts that the story’s a little bit different as to how it’s been portrayed so far, especially through social media.”
The Riots began shortly after and lasted most of the night. Protesters threw rocks and bottles while chanting “Black Lives Matter” and held signs reading “It was a book.”
Protesters trashed and looted several businesses including a Walmart and some moved to and blocked off Interstate 85. They set fires in the middle of the highway and forced several tractor-trailers to stop. The rioters then looted and burned the contents of the trucks. At one point they took over a police cruiser and destroyed it as well.
16 officers were reported injured in the clash, one took a brick to the head. Only five protesters were arrested and seven hospitalized.
We will have to wait and see if these protests continue.