Mayor says Charlotte is 'open for business' as streets return to normal
Posted September 22
Charlotte, N.C. — Charlotte Mayor Jennifer Roberts said Thursday the city is returning to normal hours after protesters vandalized buildings and looted businesses following the Tuesday killing of a man by police.
Wednesday night's protests began peacefully around 6 p.m. in the city's Marshall Park. But the crowds turned violent later in the evening as tensions with a growing police presence rose.
At the city's Thursday press conference, Roberts said the city was recovering after the overnight unrest.
"Today, our city is open for business as usual," Roberts told reporters. "Come to our uptown. We are here working. Our buses are running."
The streets were mostly quiet Thursday, but Bank of America, Wells Fargo and Duke Energy—three of the city's biggest employers—all told employees not to venture into the city after Gov. Pat McCrory declared a state of emergency Wednesday night.
The NASCAR Hall of Fame in downtown is among the places damaged during the riot. Officials said the damage is being assessed.
While the Carolina Panthers are still planning to host the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday, team officials say they will continue to monitor the ongoing violent protests that have gripped the city.
Panthers president Danny Morrison said in a statement Thursday that the team is "in contact with government officials, the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department and the NFL. We are continuing to monitor events as we prepare for Sunday's home game."
"The safety and security of our community as well as our law enforcement officers remains our top priority," Roberts said.
Police Chief Kerr Putney said one person suffered life-threatening injuries on Thursday after being shot the night before. It is unclear who shot the person.
Putney said five officers were treated for injuries during the violent protests. Two of those officers suffered minor eye injuries, and three others were treated for heat-relates problems.
Nine civilians received medical treatment, and authorities arrested 44 people throughout the night.