The governor of the US state of North Carolina has declared a state of emergency following a second night of violent protests in Charlotte over the fatal police shooting of a black man.
“I have declared a State of Emergency & initiated efforts to deploy the Nat’l Guard & Highway Patrol to assist local law enforcement in CLT,” Governor Pat McCrory said on Wednesday night.
“We cannot tolerate violence. We cannot tolerate the destruction of property and will not tolerate the attacks towards our police officers that are occurring right now, and I feel very strongly about that,” the governor later said. “That is not the American way.”
One protester critically shot during demonstrations against police brutality reportedly succumbed to his injuries following the clashes in the city center.
The protesters were marching on Wednesday to denounce the police shooting of African American Keith Lamont Scott, killed in the city on Tuesday night.
The 43-year-old’s death outraged Black Lives Matters activists, leading to protests and clashes there.
“No Justice, No Peace,” shouted the demonstrators as they clashed with heavily-armed police officers in riot gear.
“We are working to bring peace and calm to our city. We know this is not who Charlotte is,” Mayor Jennifer Roberts said, urging people to stay off the streets. “Tell everyone that violence is not the answer.”
There were conflicting reports about how Scott was killed with police alleging that he was armed, ignored police order, and hurt 16 officers.
Charlotte Police Chief Kerr Putney said a protester, who was critically injured and transferred to hospital, died.
Police later claimed that the protester was not shot by officers at all.