Charlotte, North Carolina, is entering its second night of protests stemming from a recent police shooting that left an allegedly disabled and unarmed African-American man dead. Unfortunately for that man, the city, and protesters, the North Carolina protests against police brutality have now reportedly turned deadly, with at least one person, identified only as a “civilian,” having been shot and killed by a fellow civilian on Wednesday night.
As NBC News reports, the North Carolina protests turned deadly in the city of Charlotte as police in riot gear descended on the city in an attempt to maintain order in a sea of increasingly irate and unpredictable protesters.
Late Wednesday evening, the government of the City of Charlotte took to social media to announce that a civilian had been shot and killed in the midst of the North Carolina protests. According to preliminary accounts of what went down — accounts that are still developing — both the deceased victim and the victim’s shooter were “civilians.” It is unclear whether or not either (or both) were actively engaged in the North Carolina protests at the time of the shooting.
ALERT: Fatal shot uptown was civilian on civilian. @CMPD did not fire shot.— City of Charlotte (@CLTgov) September 22, 2016
According to Mecklenburg County Emergency Services, three individuals were taken to a local hospital on Wednesday night as a result of the North Carolina protests. At this point, it is not yet publicly known whether or not the deceased shooting victim was one of the three. Not many details about the deadly shooting incident that erupted during the North Carolina protests is yet being made available.
The current North Carolina protests are the result of a fatal police shooting which took place on September 20. The details of the September 20 shooting have been heavily debated in the hours since, but one thing about the incident has remained perfectly clear. An African-American male, 43-year-old Keith Lamont Scott, was shot and killed by police on Tuesday as they attempted to serve an arrest warrant on another person.
@CNN This has NOTHING TO DO WITH THE REASON FOR PROTEST..NOW ITS JUST ACTS OF HATE AND LAWLESSNESS !— Leslee Bloom (@2simplyb) September 22, 2016
@CNBC How long before Trump takes credit for the shooting in Charlotte? He said he wouldn't lose a vote if he did.— Don Perryman (@DonPerryman) September 22, 2016
The family of the victim, a man whose untimely and violent death has now incited two consecutive nights of North Carolina protests, has publicly claimed that Keith Scott was disabled and reading a book peacefully in his vehicle when the Charlotte police showed up and ended his life. According to family members, the African-American father was simply waiting for his son to get home from school.
North Carolina authorities have laid out a markedly different version of events. According to the leadership of the City of Charlotte, the shooting happened just before 4:00 p.m. on Tuesday. Metro Division Crime Reduction Unit officers had descended on The Village at College Downs apartments to serve an arrest warrant. They claim that Scott, as his family has claimed, had been inside his car when they arrived.
According to North Carolina officials, however, when he exited his vehicle, he wasn’t armed with a book. He was holding a gun. North Carolina officers claim that they repeatedly told Scott, who had exited the vehicle, to drop his weapon. Upon his refusal to do so, and in fear for their lives, North Carolina officers reportedly then made the decision to fire on Mr. Scott, ultimately ending his life.
While the North Carolina protests continue tonight, Charlotte law enforcement officials have claimed that theirs is the true version of events, and that they have the witnesses to prove it.
The North Carolina officer who fired the fatal shot, who has been identified as Officer Brentley Vinson (also African-American), has been placed on administrative leave pending an investigation into the shooting death that instigated the North Carolina protests.
On Wednesday night, the fatal shooting during the North Carolina protests was far from the only escalation of violence in the city of Charlotte. It has been reported that at least one CNN reporter covering the North Carolina protests was brutally knocked to the ground during a live shot.
At this point, he is expected to be fine.
At least two people involved in the North Carolina protests have already been taken into police custody Wednesday night. Neither their names nor their alleged crimes have been made public at this time. Many of the protesters involved in the North Carolina protests appear to be affiliated, at least loosely, with the Black Lives Matter activists organization.
It has also been reported that law enforcement dealing with the North Carolina protests have been utilizing concussion grenades and that news reporters have been advising their colleagues on the ground to get out of the Charlotte area for their own safety.
[Featured Image by Chuck Burton/AP Images]