At least 12 police officers were injured in Charlotte on Tuesday night as protests against a fatal police shooting turned violent. The injuries came after hundreds of demonstrators surrounded police who were working at the scene of Tuesday’s shooting at an apartment complex in Charlotte’s University City neighborhood. Hours earlier police fatally shot 42-year-old Keith Lamont Scott, a black man whose family said was unarmed and disabled, and possibly mistaken for a suspect that officers were pursuing. Riot police were called out as the crowd grew, with multiple reports of water bottles thrown at police and threats to attack them. Protesters targeted police vehicles, with reports of smashed windows and attempts to overturn vehicles. By 11 p.m., officers fired tear gas canisters at the crowd numerous times, and by 3 a.m. the northbound lanes of Interstate 85 were blocked by chanting protesters, blocking traffic for miles. CNN reports some protesters started fires in the center of the highway, and fueled the blazes with boxes taken from stalled tractor-trailers in the roadway. Lines of riot police eventually forced the demonstrators from the interstate. Charlotte Mayor Jennifer Roberts pleaded for calm and promised a full investigation into the Scott shooting. The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department posted on Twitter that a dozen of its officers had been hurt. Local media reported seven people were injured and at least five others were arrested.
Video of melee earlier tonight. pic.twitter.com/w6EJVpg6NC
— Mike Hanson (@MikeWCNC) September 21, 2016