THE GOVERNOR of North Carolina declared ‘a state of emergency’ yesterday after two nights of protests in Charlotte following the police shooting of an unarmed black man, Keith Lamont Scott.
The National Guard has now been drafted in, which will undoubtedly escalate the crisis.
A statement read out to the media from the governor’s office said: ‘Governor Pat McCrory has declared a State of Emergency upon the request of Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Chief, Kerr Putney.
‘The governor has also initiated efforts to deploy the North Carolina National Guard and the State Highway Patrol to assist local law enforcement. The State Highway Patrol is sending in troopers to further help the Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department.’
During clashes on Wednesday night, a protester was shot and gravely injured and is now on life support. Eyewitness Gloria Meriweather alleged: ‘I was there. We were running past the SWAT team when the person running next to me fell.
‘I looked back and half of his head was blown off. From that moment on we were all just really shocked, trying to get him medical attention, which was also blocked by the SWAT team. The entire reason that people were protesting to begin with was because an unarmed black man was shot, and again tonight in the middle of our protest an another unarmed black man was shot.’
43-year-old Keith Lamont Scott, a disabled black man, married with seven children was shot by police on Tuesday. He had parked his car in the shade, waiting for his son at the bus stop to come home from school, like he did every day.
The police, claimed he was ‘armed’ when he got out of his car, however Keith Lamont Scott’s daughter said: ‘The police shot my daddy four times for being black. They said that my daddy had a gun and that is why they shot him. My daddy did not have a gun, he did not have a gun.’
Dash-cam footage of the incident will be viewed by Charlotte’s mayor but not released to the public, the city said. Keith Lamont Scott is the third black person to be killed in the US by police in a week. On Wednesday September 14th, 13-year-old Tyre King was shot and killed by police in Columbus. And on Friday September 16th Terence Crutcher, an unarmed 40-year-old, was shot dead by a police officer in Tulsa, Oklahoma, despite him having his hands up.