A protester was shot in the head during Wednesday night’s protests in Charlotte, North Carolina in response to the killing of Keith Lamont Scott.
According to The Guardian, the protester, whose name has not yet been publicly released as of this writing, was intially declared dead, but his medical status has since been updated to severely wounded and in critical condition.
There are conflicting accounts as to who was responsible for the shooting. 350.org national organizer Todd Zimmer took a photo of a pool of blood on the sidewalk in Charlotte’s Uptown district left behind from the wounded protester. While a Daily Beast reporter attributed the shooting to another protester, Zimmer said he personally witnessed police shoot the protester in the head with a tear gas canister or rubber bullet, saying his city was “lying” about the person responsible.
I was there when CMPD shot a protestor in the head tonight. I am convinced that police shot this person with a rubber…
Jimmy James Tyson, a Charlotte native who joined the protesters after Scott’s death, also said he witnessed police fire the shot that knocked the protester to the sidewalk. Tyson said the projectile that hit the protester was a rubber bullet.
I’m home now, burning up all over my body, but I’m okay. Had to get in cold water, soap, and vinegar. Beet red. And…
Skirmishes between rioters and police have continued to escalate this week, and North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory has declared a state of emergency, deploying the national guard to assist the police response to the riots. In video posted to YouTube by the Associated Press, CMPD officers are seen firing tear gas and flash bang grenades at protesters in an attempt to disperse the crowds, while also arresting protesters standing quietly in the street with their arms raised.
Protests erupted in the community after CMPD officer Brentley Vinson killed 43-year-old, who family members say was shot while reading in his car, waiting for his son’s school bus to arrive. While CMPD maintains that Scott had a gun and refused to comply with orders to drop the alleged firearm, Scott’s siblings insist the object in his hands was a book, not a gun. Officers were searching for another suspect with an outstanding warrant when they killed Scott, who was not the suspect in question.
As of this writing, CMPD have not yet released the video of Scott’s death.
Zach Cartwright is an activist and author from Richmond, Virginia. He enjoys writing about politics, government, and the media. Send him an email at [email protected], and follow his work on the Public Banking Institute blog.