September 21, 2016

Tonight is the second night of protests over the fatal police shootings of Terence Crutcher in Tulsa and Keith Scott in Charlotte.

One person has been shot and is on life support in a Charlotte hospital. Police are saying it is a civilian-on-civilian shooting. There have been several arrests in connection with protesters not complying with police orders.

The Keith Scott shooting is especially difficult, because there are very different accounts of what happened.

New York Times:

At a news conference on Wednesday, Kerr Putney, chief of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department, said officers had found the gun that the police said Mr. Scott had brandished before an officer fatally shot him and were examining police video of the encounter that unfolded as Mr. Scott stepped out of a car.

Family members of Mr. Scott have said that he was unarmed and was holding only a book. Chief Putney said Wednesday morning, “We did not find a book.”

As Rev. William Barber pointed out, North Carolina is an open carry state. So either he had a gun which he was legally able to carry and was shot, or he had a book, which he was legally able to carry, or he brandished a gun at police officers. Police have refused to release the video of the shooting at this point, which simply exacerbates the problem.

Adding to that, reporters said there were about 300 people out protesting in Charlotte when police arrived in riot gear. Shortly thereafter, things turned ugly, with a few people getting violent and breaking windows. Following that, one gunshot rang out, and police began setting off flash-bang devices and tear gas canisters, hitting reporters and protesters alike.

Police have brought in more officers in riot gear, and they are pushing back the handful of protesters who remain.

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