Heated Protests in Charlotte After Scott Decision


Frustrated protestors took to the streets of downtown Charlotte, N.C., Wednesday following a district attorney’s decision not to prosecute Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police officer Brentley Vinson for the fatal shooting of Keith Lamont Scott.

According to the Charlotte Observer, dozens of demonstrators marched from the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department headquarters through the streets of downtown Charlotte, chanting Scott’s name and other cries of injustice.

Members of Black Lives Matter, and the community-based coalition Charlotte Uprising led the organizing efforts. An attempt to lower the American flag in front of CPMD headquarters was foiled, and though tensions seemed to be flaring, the protest remained mainly peaceful.

The CPMD anticipating some backlash to the D.A.’s response, met protestors on site, arriving on bicycles and motorcycles. CMPD tweeted that its Constructive Conversation Teams met with protestors, and were “listening to concerns, answering questions and engaging in conversations.” The Department said four arrests were made throughout the night for obstructing traffic. One of the individuals apprehended was also charged with disorderly conduct.

In addition to the outcry over the decision not to convict Officer Vinson, demonstrators expressed their grievances over the shooting of Justin Carr, a 26-year-old man, shot at the protests immediately following Scott’s death. Although, Rayquan Borum, a 21-year-old who was also protesting that night has been charged with the shooting, some believe police are responsible for Carr’s death as well. On Wednesday night, protestors held a moment of silence for Carr where he was killed – at the Omni Hotel uptown.

Scott, 43, was shot once in the back as well as the wrist and abdomen on September 20 in a confrontation with officers outside his apartment. The CPMD released the dashcam and bodycam footage of the shooting to the public after an intense demand, although Scott’s wife had captured additional visuals on her cell phone.

District Attorney Andrew Murray declared Wednesday he was “extremely convinced that Mr. Vinson’s use of deadly force was lawful,” as he found no legal wrongdoing in Scott’s death.

Community activists across the nation have rallied behind the Scott family, adding the case to a long list of alleged police brutality incidents. It’s unclear whether protestors will hit the streets of Charlotte tonight, as no announcement has been made at press time.

Image: Protesters hold a moment of silence for Keith Lamont Scott in front of Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department headquarters. David T. Foster III/The Charlotte Observer via AP