12 officers injured in North Carolina protests after police shooting in Charlotte

Demonstrators gathered late on Tuesday near an apartment complex in Charlotte where the shooting occurred, carrying signs that read 'Black Lives Matter' and chanting 'No justice'.

AFP September 21, 2016 13:17:46 IST
12 officers injured in North Carolina protests after police shooting in Charlotte

Washington: Twelve officers were injured during violent protests in a North Carolina city sparked by the fatal police shooting of an African-American, officials said.

Demonstrators gathered late on Tuesday near an apartment complex in Charlotte where the shooting occurred, carrying signs that read "Black Lives Matter" and chanting "No justice".

News reports said the man shot by the Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officer, identified as Keith Lamont Scott, was African-American, as was the officer who killed him.

12 officers injured in North Carolina protests after police shooting in Charlotte

Police fire tear gas into the crowd of protesters in Charlotte. AP.

"Approximately 12 officers injured. One officer hit in face with a rock," read a tweet posted by the Charlotte-Mecklenberg Police Department.

A separate police department tweet said the officers were "injured tonight working to protect our community during demonstration."

News reports said an unspecified number of civilians were also hurt.

WSOC-TV reported that police donned riot gear and used tear gas as they tried to subdue the angry crowd, which authorities said attacked and damaged several police cars.

News reports said the officer involved in the shooting, Brentley Vinson, has been put on paid leave.

The television station reported that Vinson was among the officers searching for a suspect on an outstanding arrest warrant.

Police encountered Scott — who was not the person they were seeking — in a car parked at the building.

Officials said he had a firearm, which is not illegal under local law. A confrontation ensued and police, who said they felt threatened by Scott, opened fire and killed him.

News reports gave his age as 43.

The dead man's relatives, interviewed by local media, said he was not carrying a gun but instead was holding a book in his hands at the time he was gunned down.

Charlotte Mayor Jennifer Roberts appealed for calm.

"The community deserves answers and full investigation will ensue," she wrote on Twitter.

"Will be reaching out to community leaders to work together."

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