City officials of North Carolina declare a state of emergency following violent unrest in Charlotte, N.C.
North Carolina state of emergency has been declared by Governor Pat McCrory after the residents of the city violently protested the fatal shooting of a Black man. The National Guard and State Highway Patrol were brought to the city on Thursday at the request of city officials subsequent to two nights of unrest.
According to the police report, a 43-year-old Black man, Keith Scott was fatally shot by police officers on Tuesday after he decided not to follow their orders. Scott was said to have been holding a handgun and his refusal to drop the firearm led to his death. A witness to the shooting and members of his family have stated that Scott was not holding a handgun, but a book.
A rally was organized in response to the shooting. The rally, which was planned to be a peaceful one, turned violent as protesters threw objects at police in riot gear and smashed shop windows and the doors of stores. Officers used pepper spray, flash-bang grenades, and tear gas and also fired rubber bullets in order to disperse the crowd. As a result, four officers suffered minor injuries and one protester was shot and severely wounded.
The victim’s wife, Rakeyia Scott, in a statement, said that the Scott family was “devastated” by the shooting and they are all appealing for calm. “We have more questions than answers about Keith’s death.”
The second successive night of unrest resulted in the destruction of windows and doors of a nearby Hyatt hotel, the looting of a convenience store that sells athletic wear for fans of Charlotte’s National Basketball League team, Hornets and the damaging of public property.
The chaos pushed Governor McCrory to declare a state of emergency in the city and he eventually sent security to help restore peace. “Any violence directed toward our citizens or police officers or destruction of property should not be tolerated,” McCrory said in a statement.
There have also been reports of protests in Tulsa, Oklahoma, in the past few days demanding the arrest of a police officer, Betty Shelby, who was involved in the deadly shooting of an unarmed Black man, Terence Crutcher.
This is the third state of emergency to be declared by the city officials as a result of violent protests in recent years. It’s completely obvious that the Black communities are more than fed up with the constant unjust police shootings. Black people have been mercilessly killed by police officers for no just cause and the officers involved never get appropriately punished. We have had enough of the brutality and oppression! We are tired of helpless officials, who can take no measures except calling more police to attack the protesters! Justice must prevail!
Black Matters fully shares the indignation of the protesters. To express our support we are organizing a meeting this Saturday. Join us at 1118 Beatties Ford Rd, Charlotte, NC 28216-5035, at 2 p. m. We need your voice in our chorus.