Police don’t plan to remove peaceful protesters in Charlotte

Protesters take to the streets of uptown during a peaceful march following Tuesday's police shooting of Keith Lamont Scott in Charlotte, N.C., Thursday, Sept. 22, 2016. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)
Protesters take to the streets of uptown during a peaceful march following Tuesday's police shooting of Keith Lamont Scott in Charlotte, N.C., Thursday, Sept. 22, 2016. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Charlotte police say they don’t plan to forcibly remove protesters from the street after curfew as long as the situation remains peaceful.

Capt. Mike Campagna says in a CNN interview that the midnight curfew is a tool the police can use if it becomes necessary, but they hope that won’t be the case.

Campagna says people inside the group of demonstrators helped keep things peaceful Thursday, the third night of protests after an officer fatally shot a black man. He says community members intervened with aggressors after seeing the need when protests became violent Wednesday night.

Protesters shout as they march downtown on the third night of protests in Charlotte, N.C. Thursday, Sept. 22, 2016, following Tuesday's fatal police shooting of Keith Lamont Scott in Charlotte, N.C. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)
Protesters shout as they march downtown on the third night of protests in Charlotte, N.C. Thursday, Sept. 22, 2016, following Tuesday’s fatal police shooting of Keith Lamont Scott in Charlotte, N.C. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)

Mayor Jennifer Roberts signed documents Thursday night to put in effect a citywide curfew from midnight until 6 a.m. She expects it to be in place for multiple days until officials determine they no longer need it.

After midnight, dozens of protesters continued to march and chant in the city’s business district.

Some protesters spilled onto an interstate highway and were pushed back by police officers in riot gear.

After peacefully circling the city’s business district for several hours, several dozen demonstrators climbed onto Interstate 277 and stood in the middle of the highway.

A line of police officers with shields and face masks advanced on the protesters, and many dispersed and climbed back up embankments off the road.

Thursday marked the third night of protests after a shooting earlier in the week of a black man by police in Charlotte. The demonstration began about 7:30 p.m. on Thursday night.

Charlotte police say the man shot in the head during Wednesday night’s protests near a downtown hotel has died.

Police spokesman Keith Trietley says in a news release that 26-year-old Justin Carr died Thursday at the hospital.

Carr was shot as protesters clashed with police in riot gear lined arm-in-arm protecting the Omni Hotel about 8:30 p.m. Wednesday. City officials say Carr was not shot by an officer.

Police Chief Kerr Putney says the detectives are determined to find who fired the fatal shots. No arrests have been made.

The lawyer for relatives of a black man killed by Charlotte police says he couldn’t tell after watching police video if the man had anything in his hands when he was shot.

Keith Scott’s family was shown the dashboard and body camera footage by police Thursday.

After viewing it, attorney Justin Bamberg said in a statement they want the video released to the public immediately. Charlotte Police Chief Kerr Putney has said he won’t release the video while a criminal investigation continues.

Bamberg says Scott is seen in the video calmly exiting his vehicle Tuesday and while police give him several commands, he does not approach officers. Bamberg says Scott’s hands were by his side and he was slowly walking backward when he was shot

Charlotte Police Chief Kerr Putney has said that Scott refused commands to drop a gun; residents say he was unarmed. Putney also says the video does not definitively show whether Scott pointed the gun at anyone.

It is not clear when, or if, dash and body camera video of the shooting might be publicly released.

North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory says he supports the Charlotte police chief’s position that body and dashcam video of the deadly police shooting of a black man shouldn’t be released to the public while the investigation continues.

The Congressional Black Caucus is demanding that Attorney General Loretta Lynch authorize federal intervention into the police killings of unarmed African-American men and women.

The black lawmakers walked Thursday from the U.S. Capitol to the Justice Department to present the letter to Lynch, who was having a news conference of her own inside the building. Democratic Rep G.K. Butterfield of North Carolina, the caucus’s chair, said they would tell the attorney general that “enough is enough.”

The letter asks for state and federal investigations, indictments and prosecutions of police officers whose actions harm or kill unarmed African-Americans.

 

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