State of emergency declared in U.S. city amid protests

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  • over the police killing of a black man

(BBC) North Carolina’s governor has declared a state of emergency in the city of Charlotte, after violence erupted during a second night of protests over the police killing of a black man.

Keith Lamont Scott was shot dead by a black officer on Tuesday. One protester remains in a critical condition after a “civilian on civilian” shooting, police said.

Mr Scott was the third black man killed by U.S. police in a week. Such shootings have sparked nationwide protests.

Riot police in Charlotte used tear gas as they faced hundreds of protesters. The local police department said four officers were injured.

Earlier North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory said he had “initiated efforts” to deploy the national guard and highway patrol to help deal with the protests.

“Any violence directed toward our citizens or police officers or destruction of property should not be tolerated,” he said.

Keith Lamont Scott (L) and Officer Bentley Vinson

Keith Lamont Scott (L) and Officer Bentley Vinson (R)

The demonstrators are angry that Mr Scott, 43, was killed by police on Tuesday afternoon at a block of flats in disputed circumstances.

Police were serving an arrest warrant on another person when they say they saw Mr Scott get out of a car with a handgun.

People manoeuvre amongst tear gas in Charlotte, North Carolina during a protest on 21 September

Police used tear gas and stun grenades(Reuters photo)

Officers say he was repeatedly told to drop his handgun before he was shot but his family say he was reading a book, as he waited for his son to be dropped off by the school bus.

Dash-cam footage of the incident will be viewed by Charlotte’s mayor but not released to the public “at that time”, the city said.

It is legal to openly carry a handgun in North Carolina, but a special permit is required to carry a concealed weapon.

Bottles and fireworks

Governor McCrory declared the state of emergency as rioters clashed with police, breaking windows and setting small fires.

The second night of protests had begun peacefully but the demonstration was interrupted by gunfire and a man in the crowd was injured. The city initially said he had been killed but then issued a clarification.

Police clash with protestors during demonstration in Charlotte, North Carolina, on 21 September

Four police officers were injured in the latest protests(Getty Images)

Protesters then threw bottles and fireworks at the officers, who were lined up in riot gear. Police fired flash grenades and tear gas to repel the crowds.

Several journalists were also reportedly attacked. A reporter and cameraman for Charlotte’s WCNC-TV were taken to hospital and a CNN journalist was tackled on live TV, local media report.seless acts of violence”.

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