A video from Charlotte appears to show a group of black protesters beating a white man in a parking garage, a viral video that appears to underscore the growing racial tension in the wake of the fatal shooting of Keith Lamont Scott.
Family members claimed that Scott was sitting in a car reading a book and waiting to pick up his son from the school bus when he was fatally shot by police. Officers claim that Scott had a gun. The shooting kicked off two nights of rioting in the city, which has already been rocked by a number of other controversial police shootings of black men. Some of that racial tension spilled over, with demonstrators turning their anger toward police and vandalizing patrol cars.
On Thursday, a Facebook video emerged showing what appeared to be a group of young black men chasing down and beating a white man before stripping the man’s pants off. The video, which quickly went viral and garnered millions of views in just a few hours, was posted to Facebook by a man named Lenard Bennett. He is a photographer from Charlotte and had posted some other images from the unrest in the city.
“This is beyond wrong smh praying for my city,” Bennett wrote.
The video of the Charlotte mob beating can be seen below, but be warned that it contains some graphic images.
Bennett posed another video of a black man tackling a white man in the street.
He also wrote a heartfelt note on Facebook, calling on protesters to remain peaceful and not make the situation worse through violence.
“It’s ok to peaceful protest but when you start looting, beating up innocent people because of race, and tearing up the city you live in NOW that’s a real issue!” he said.
“Yes the killing of that man was wrong AF but 2 wrongs don’t make it right IDGAF what color race you are. Y’all steady screaming #BlackLivesMatter but yet your killing your own people over the dumbest stuff how TF do you expect others to respect your March when your showing the world your no better. it’s a difference between protesting and provoking WAKE UP.”
There are still many unanswered questions regarding the video showing the black group beating up a white man in Charlotte. The video starts with a group of young men confronting the victim, but it does not show what led up to the conflict.
It is also unclear if everyone in the group is attacking the man. Many people who passed along the video online noted that the group stripped the man of his pants, but in the video, the man dragging the victim by his pants also appears to pull him away from the group that has beaten him and does not land a blow himself. It is possible that this person was pulling the victim to safety.
Local officials have decried the violence that has arisen in Charlotte in the wake of the Keith Lamont Scott shooting. North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory declared a state of emergency and called in the National Guard, Fox News noted.
Charlotte authorities seek to restore order after two nights of violence https://t.co/H0SPbhif7i ????— Wall Street Journal (@WSJ) September 22, 2016
The city’s mayor has also called on residents to remain peaceful in their demonstrations.
“The events that we saw last night are not the Charlotte I know and love,” Mayor Jennifer Roberts said on Thursday morning. “They are not reflective of our community, of the deep-seated traditions we have of collaboration and peace.”
So far, it appears that neither the attackers nor the victim in the Charlotte mob beating have been identified. It is also not yet clear if any of the attackers seen in the video might face charges.
[Featured Image by Chuck Burton/AP Images]