Washington, Sep 21 (IANS) Protests erupted in North Carolina state of the US after an African-American police officer shot dead a black man while serving a warrant for a different person in Charlotte city.
At least seven persons were transported to hospital with minor injuries, CNN reported. Five others have been arrested during the protest after a Charlotte police officer killed Keith Lamont Scott on Tuesday afternoon.
According to the police, the man they shot had a gun and posed an “imminent deadly threat”, but his family said he was carrying a book.
Though the police insisted the man “was armed”, he’s not the one police were looking for, the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department said in a statement later.
Several hundred people gathered at the site on Tuesday night, chanting “No justice, no peace!” and carrying signs that said “Black Lives Matter”.
While some threw bottles and rocks at officers working to control the protesters, others implored them to stop.
At least 12 officers suffered injuries during the protests, the police department tweeted. It did not provide details on the nature and severity of the injuries, but said one of its officers was hit in the face with a rock.
“That’s when things really started to pick up. I would say not long before 11 p.m., police deployed tear-gas… as they tried to clear the streets,” said Adam Rhew, associate editor for a Charlotte magazine.
According to CNN, after a brief lull, the crowds regrouped early on Wednesday and blocked Interstate 85.
They started a fire at the centre of the highway, forcing vehicles and tractor-trailers to stall. Police cars with flashing lights hovered nearby.
Shortly after, the highway partially opened, some protesters remained in the vicinity and continued chanting, while others jumped on top of a police van and stomped on it.
Brentley Vinson, the officer involved in the shooting, has been placed on paid administrative leave, according to the Mayor. He is also reported to be African-American.
Racial tensions are high nationwide following other officer-involved shootings. The fatal shooting of Terence Crutcher, an unarmed black man in Tulsa, Oklahoma, sparked protests after video of the killing appeared on Monday.
Charlotte’s is the latest case involving an officer-involved shooting, and protesters are demanding justice and an end to police brutality for months.
Most of the protesters cited the case of Ahmad Rahami, the suspect in the New York and New Jersey explosions who was arrested alive on Monday after a shootout.
“Something has to be done… there was a terrorist in New Jersey, New York. He was taken alive,” protester Nichelle Dunlap told CNN affiliate WCCB in Charlotte.
“They said they want to question him. So because you wanted to question him, does his life mean more than our black men across the nation? It doesn’t make any sense.”
“When will our lives truly matter? A black father is dead. There are children tonight who will never see their father again,” said another.