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Protests, Economic Boycott Follow Fatal Police Shooting In Charlotte

Taheshia Williams, center, tells her eyewitness account of the police shooting of Keith Lamont Scott, in Charlotte, N.C. Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2016. Scott's death on Sept. 20 led to protests and rioting.
Nell Redmond
/
ASSOCIATED PRESS
Taheshia Williams, center, tells her eyewitness account of the police shooting of Keith Lamont Scott, in Charlotte, N.C. Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2016. Scott's death on Sept. 20 led to protests and rioting.

Charlotte police say 16 officers were injured last night in clashes with those protesting the fatal police shooting of a black man.

Police say Keith Lamont Scott, 43, was carrying a gun. Scott's family says he was reading a book in his car. City Police Chief Kerr Putney said the investigation is ongoing. He has refused to release the police body camera footage. Scott was fatally shot by Charlotte Police Officer Brentley Vinson, who is also black.

Charlotte Mayor Jennifer Roberts urged demonstrators to remain peaceful.

"We understand that there may be continuing protests this evening, but I want to emphasize that I have spoken with many community and faith leaders already that we are calling for peace, we are calling for calm, we are calling for dialogue," Roberts said.

Police on Wednesday morning said they have made one arrest after protesters blocked traffic on I-85, damaged police vehicles, looted a truck and set items aflame.

Meanwhile, civil rights activists are calling for an economic boycott of the city of Charlotte in response to the police shooting. Charlotte-based civil rights activist and leader of the Nation of Islam B.J. Murphy this morning urged African Americans not to spend money in white-owned Charlotte businesses.

"Keep your money in your pocket and let the city of Charlotte with their great shiny buildings and skyscrapers and Panthers and Hornets and all that--keep your money in your pocket and let everybody feel the pain economically of what we're feeling physically when you kill us," Murphy said on WSOC-TV.

The North Carolina ACLU is also calling on the Charlotte Police Department to release the body camera footage taken during yesterday's police shooting.

Charlotte Police Chief Putney said state law prohibits the video's release. The ACLU says the law Putney is apparently referring to does not go into effect until October first. The new law, signed in July, requires a court order for police departments to release body camera footage to the public.

Jess is WUNC's Fletcher Fellow for Education Policy Reporting. Her reporting focuses on how decisions made at the North Carolina General Assembly affect the state's students, families, teachers and communities.
Dave DeWitt is WUNC's Feature News Editor. As an editor, reporter, and producer he's covered politics, environment, education, sports, and a wide range of other topics.
Laura Lee was the managing editor of The State of Things until mid February 2017. Born and raised in Monroe, North Carolina, Laura returned to the Old North state in 2013 after several years in Washington, DC. She received her B.A. in political science and international studies from UNC-Chapel Hill in 2002 and her J.D. from UNC-Chapel Hill School of Law in 2007.
Longtime NPR correspondent Frank Stasio was named permanent host of The State of Things in June 2006. A native of Buffalo, Frank has been in radio since the age of 19. He began his public radio career at WOI in Ames, Iowa, where he was a magazine show anchor and the station's News Director.
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