North Carolina Declares State of Emergency Amid Protests; 1 in Critical Condition After Shooting
"Any violence directed toward our citizens or police officers or destruction of property should not be tolerated," the governor said in a statement.
Outside the Omni Hotel in downtown Charlotte, protesters faced off with police, and a man was shot in the chaos. Authorities say the shooting was "civilian on civilian."
The victim is on life support and in critical condition in an area hospital.
“Any violence directed toward our citizens or police officers or destruction of property should not be tolerated," Governor Pat McCrory said in a statement. "I support and commend the law enforcement officials for their bravery and courage during this difficult situation."
Following the shooting outside the Omni, police fired flash grenades and tear gas and the crowds dispersed.
In an interview with Fox News, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Chief Kerr Putney defended his officers’ actions.
“We're trying to disperse the crowd," Putney said. "We've been very patient, but now they've become very violent."
A Bank of America branch became the site of protests as people stood silently outside the bank with “Black Lives Matter” and “Stop Killing Us” signs. On Thursday, bank employees were told to stay home.
It was the second-straight night of protests, which came after the shooting of 43-year-old father of seven Keith Lamont at the hands of police. Lamont was unarmed and shot after police mistook him for someone else.
The cop who shot him was identified as Officer Brentley Vinson. He was in plain clothes during the time of the shooting and therefore not wearing a body camera. He has been placed on administrative leave.
Vinson joined the police academy in July 2014. In December, he was assigned to the city’s metro division.
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