Last night, activists went out in the street to protest the fatal shooting of Charlotte resident Keith Lamont Scott. Although the first night of demonstrations resulted in the injuring of several officers, the second night resulted in the nearly fatal shooting of a civilian.
On Tuesday, Scott was shot and killed by Charlotte-Mecklenburg officer Brentley Vinson. According to Vinson’s statement, Scott was armed with a gun at the time of the shooting; however, Scott’s family has asserted that he only held a book in his hands.
After Scott was pronounced dead at a local hospital, protesters marched the streets of Charlotte holding signs that read “It Was A Book” and “Black Lives Matter.” During night one of the protests, several officers were injured from people throwing rocks and bottles. Several police cruisers were also damaged.
Protests continued throughout the day Wednesday. In the evening, one protester was shot by another civilian. At first, media outlets reported this protester was killed by the shooting, but officials have confirmed the unidentified person is still alive but is currently on life support.
In addition to the critically injured protester, the CMPD stated that four officers were injured in the protests. None of the officer’s injuries are life threatening.
During the protests, officers repeatedly threatened to arrests anyone who did not clear the streets. Although they made promises to arrest, CMPD officers used tear gas and pepper spray several times in order to remove the protesters.
As a result of the protester shooting and general destruction occurring in Charlotte, Gov. Pat McCrory has officially declared a state of emergency in North Carolina and deployed the National Guard.
"Any violence directed toward our citizens or police officers or destruction of property should not be tolerated," McCrory said in a statement.
Although many believe these protests were triggered by the isolated incident of Scott’s death, it is more likely that these activists are protesting several deaths of Black men at the hands of police that have occurred recently. Last week, Terence Crutcher was killed by police after reportedly experiencing car troubles.
This year, 193 Black men have been killed by police officers. As the attack against Black bodies seems to grow at an uncomfortable rate, Black people across America have grown tired and frustrated.
The protests are a way for a collective to unite and ask, "When will this end?"
(Photo: Sean Rayford/Getty Images)