(CN) – Charlotte, North Carolina was convulsed by a second night of violence Wednesday as a protest over the police killing of a black man ended with another man shot and on life support, and officers firing tear gas into the crowd in an attempt to restore order.
In response to the continuing unrest, Gov. Pat McCrory declared a state of emergency and ordered the deployment of the National Guard and state Highway Patrol officers.
“My heart bleeds for what our great city is going through,” said McCrory, a former Charlotte mayor, on WBTV-TV.
The National Guard began assembling at the city armory near Charlotte Douglas International Airport at about 7 a.m. Thursday morning and guard vehicles began rolling into the city a short time later.
In the meantime, three of Charlotte’s biggest businesses Bank of America, Wells Fargo and Duke Energy – told their employees to stay home for the day.
Anger has continued to build over the shooting of Keith Lamont Scott by a black police officer on Tuesday afternoon and the markedly different accounts about what happened from authorities and Scott’s family and neighbors.
Police said Scott, 43, held a handgun as he got out of a car in an apartment complex but others claimed he was reading a book while waiting to pick up his son at a bus stop. Police said they found a gun but no book at the scene.
A peaceful prayer vigil Wednesday night turned into another angry confrontation between protesters and police in riot gear after one of the demonstrators was shot and critically wounded.
The police said the shooting of the unidentified man outside an upscale hotel in downtown Charlotte was the result of “civilian on civilian” assault. The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department also said on its Twitter feed that four of its officers were injured in last night’s chaos, but that none of the injuries was life-threatening.
Sporadic looting has also been reported.
Mayor Jennifer Roberts said she will review a police dashboard video of the shooting of Keith Scott on Thursday. Despite calls for the release of the video by the ACLU and black community leaders, Roberts said she would not make the video public.
And that is not sitting well with the city’s activists.
“Everybody in Charlotte should be on notice that black people, today, we’re tired of this,” said B.J. Murphy, who on Wednesday morning called for a black boycott of white businesses. “We’re tired of being killed and nobody saying nothing. We’re tired of our political leaders going along to get along. They have no sympathy for our grief. And we want justice.”
Charlotte’s police chief said Thursday he plans to show video of an officer shooting a black man to the slain man’s family, but the video won’t be immediately released to the public.
Charlottte-Mecklenburg Police Chief Kerr Putney told reporters during a news conference that the video does not definitively show 43-year-old Keith Lamont Scott pointing a gun at anyone.
Putney said he is working to honor the request from the family of Scott to view the video.
“Right now my priority is the people who really are the victims of the shooting,” Putney said. “I’m telling you right now if you think I say we should display a victim’s worst day for consumption, that is not the transparency I’m speaking of.”
Charlotte is both the banking capital and one of the most cosmopolitan cities in the South. Though it has experienced some growing pains as it population approaches 850,000 (about 35 percent of whom are black), it has largely avoided the racially charged incidents that have occurred in other cities.
In 2013, Charlotte police charged one of their own, Randall Kerrick with voluntary manslaughter just days after the white officer shot an unarmed black man who had been in a wreck and was looking for help.
A judge later declared a mistrial after the jury hearing the case could not reach a verdict.
After prosecutors announced they would not seek a retrial in the death of Jonathan Ferrell, a college student and football player, the city saw isolated protests, but no violence.
Photo caption 1:
Debris falls upon Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officers and protesters as officers began to push protesters from the intersection near the Epicentre in Charlotte, N.C. Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2016.(Jeff Siner/The Charlotte Observer via AP)
Photo caption 2:
A man squats near a pool of blood after a man was injured during a protest of Tuesday’s fatal police shooting of Keith Lamont Scott in Charlotte, N.C. on Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2016.(AP Photo/Chuck Burton)
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