A civilian was killed on Wednesday in Charlotte, North Carolina, amid protests that followed the fatal shooting of an African-American by the police on Tuesday. City officials, however, clarified on Twitter that the victim was killed by a shot fired by a civilian, not by the police, according to Reuters. Later, North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory declared a state of emergency. He said that the National Guard and state highway patrol troops will be deployed to help the Charlotte Police maintain law and order.
Riot police in Charlotte resorted to firing teargas and rubber bullets at protestors as the agitation, which began as a peaceful march, turned violent. "We're trying to disperse the crowd. We've been very patient, but now they've become aggressive, throwing bottles and so forth, at my officers. So it's time for us now to restore order," said Charlotte Police Chief Kerr Putney. Around 16 police officers were also injured in clashes with demonstrators.
Protestors carried signs of "Black Lives Matter", chanted slogans of "No justice, no peace!", set fire to items stolen from trucks and blocked roads, according to The Telegraph. They also hurled rocks and bottles at the police, who retaliated with teargas and rubber bullets.
On Tuesday, police shot dead 43-year-old Keith Scott in Charlotte, alleging that he was armed with a handgun and had refused orders to drop his fiream. A witness to the incident as well as his family, however, claim that Scott was holding a book, not a weapon. Mayor of Charlotte Jennifer Roberts said they plan to release a video of the shooting.
The protests in Charlotte took place while residents of Tulsa in Oklahoma also staged an agitation against the police shooting of an unarmed African-American man last week. He was gunned down even though his hands were in clear view at the time, as seen in a video. Protestors demanded the arrest of the police officer.
These deaths are the latest in a series of police shootings involving African-American citizens, which has been decried nationwide. In July, five policemen were killed and six were wounded in Dallas after a protest rally against two African-American men being fatally shot by the police in Minnesota and Louisiana turned violent. This is believed to be the single-largest attack on law enforcement authorities in the US. President Barack Obama had then emphasised on the need for such prejudices to be "rooted out".