Charlotte under state of emergency in 2nd night of protests

Charlotte, Sep 22 (AP) Authorities in Charlotte tried toquell public anger after a police officer shot a black man,but a dusk prayer vigil turned into a march that ended with aprotester critically wounded by gunfire and the governordeclared a state of emergency in the city. The man was not shot by police who had massed in riotgear to keep the marchers outside an upscale downtown hotel,Charlotte officials announced on Twitter. City officialsoriginally announced the man was dead but later reversed thatstatement and said he was on life support. The second night of violent protests added Charlotte tothe list of US cities that have erupted in violence over thedeath of a black man at the hands of police. With officials refusing to release any video of theTuesday shooting of 43-year-old Keith Lamont Scott, angerbuilt as two starkly different versions emerged: Police sayScott disregarded repeated demands to drop his gun, whileneighborhood residents say he was holding a book, not aweapon, as he waited for his son to get off the school bus. The killing inflamed racial tensions in a city thatseemed to have steered clear of the troubles that engulfedother places. Gov. Pat McCrory announced late yesterday he wasaccepting a request from Charlotte’s police chief, declaring astate of emergency and calling in the National Guard and statetroopers to help restore order and protect downtown. Destructive protests Tuesday that included shutting downeight-lane Interstate 85 and burning the contents of atractor-trailer turned violent yesterday. Along with the mancritically injured, paramedics said two other people and sixpolice officers suffered minor injuries. Yesterday’s protest started as a downtown prayer vigil,but an angry group left the peaceful event and marched throughdowntown Charlotte. They shouted "black lives matter" and "hands up; don’tshoot" while cursing at officers with bicycles blockingintersections in Charlotte’s flashy and vibrant downtown. Asthe protesters approached the Omni hotel, officers in riotgear lined up outside arm in arm and a few marchers threwbottles and clods of dirt. Immediately after the shooting, police began firing flashgrenades and protesters threw fireworks. Police then firedtear gas, and the crowd of hundreds dispersed. But not all the marchers left. Police in riot gear thenbegan marching arm in arm through downtown Charlotteintersections, shooting tear gas at people who charged them.At least one protester knocked down a television reporterduring a live shot and several other media outlets said onTwitter they had employees taken to hospitals. (AP)SAI


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