Political News

The Latest: Protesters trying to stop cars on interstate

Posted 12:10 a.m. Thursday
Updated 7:31 a.m. Thursday

— The latest on police shooting and protests in Charlotte, North Carolina (all times local):

12 a.m.

Groups of protesters are trying to stop cars driving on the downtown highway loop around Charlotte.

Footage from TV station helicopters showed about three dozen people on Interstate 277 trying to stop cars late Thursday night. Several cars made it through, dodging people.

It was the latest incident in a night of violence in Charlotte's normally vibrant downtown. One man was shot and critically wounded, several reporters and people were attacked, windows were shattered and small fires set Wednesday night.

Police have not given an update on the number of people or police officers hurt.

There also were destructive protests Tuesday. North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory has declared a state of emergency and called in the National Guard.

___

11:30 p.m.

North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory declared a state of emergency in Charlotte as protests over a police shooting turned violent for a second night.

McCrory said in a statement late Wednesday he was also sending the National Guard to Charlotte as scattered groups of protesters continued to attack reporters and other people, break windows and set small fires in North Carolina's largest city.

Wednesday's protests started as a prayer vigil, but a group split off and marched through downtown. The march turned violent after a protester was shot and critically injured. City officials say police did not fire the shot.

After the shooting, police in riot gear began firing tear gas and marching through downtown arm in arm.

Keith Scott was shot to death Tuesday. Police say he had a gun, but neighbors and his family say he only had a book.

___

9:50 p.m.

Charlotte officials say a man shot during a protest is in critical condition but was not wounded by a police officer.

The city of Charlotte made the announcement Wednesday night on its Twitter feed, reversing an earlier statement that the man had died.

The man was shot as police in riot gear protected an upscale hotel in downtown Charlotte.

After the shooting, protesters began throwing bottles, dirt clods and fireworks at the officers. The police fired flash grenades and then tear gas back, dispersing the crowd of several hundred.

But groups of protesters kept marching around downtown, followed by police in riot gear who continued to fire tear gas at them.

The protesters were angry about the police shooting of Keith Lamont on Tuesday at his condominium complex. Police said the black man had a gun, while neighbors and his family said he was holding a book.

Video of the shooting has not been released.

___

This item has been corrected to show that the city now says the man is in critical condition, not dead.

___

9:10 p.m.

The emergency medical service in Charlotte says a person has been taken to the hospital with life-threatening injuries from an apparent gunshot wound.

Charlotte Medic tweeted that the person was injured Wednesday night but didn't give details.

The service says it has taken eight patients — seven law-enforcement officers and one civilian — to area hospitals during protests over the police shooting of a black man.

___

8:35 p.m.

Protesters have rushed police in riot gear at a downtown Charlotte hotel and officers have fired tear gas to disperse the crowd.

At least one person was injured in the confrontation, though it wasn't immediately clear how.

Firefighters rushed in to pull the man to a waiting ambulance.

Officers on bicycles surrounded a pool of blood on the ground and a few people threw bottles and clods of dirt at police.

The tense standoff continued as police fired small canisters of tear gas into the protesters.

___

8:30 p.m.

Groups of college students are descending on the condominium complex parking lot where a black man was shot and killed by a black Charlotte police officer.

One group of students came from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, about 80 miles away. Others came from Guilford College, also in Greensboro.

Meanwhile, students and faculty from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte canvassed the neighborhood, some of them offering words of comfort while others passed out water.

Before nightfall, a memorial was set up at the site where Scott was shot. People prayed and held candles, and flowers were placed beneath a table.

___

8:10 p.m.

A prayer vigil over the fatal police shooting of a black man in Charlotte has turned into a protest march through downtown.

Several hundred marchers have been angry but peaceful Wednesday night as they shouted slogans like "Hands up; don't shoot" and "Black lives matter" outside downtown landmarks.

Police blocked off streets, and some protesters yelled and pointed at them, but officers did not react.

The scene was in contrast to Tuesday's protest, which turned violent with protesters threw rocks and damaged police vehicles.

___

6:30 p.m.

The White House says President Barack Obama has called the mayors of Charlotte and Tulsa to get an update on protests after fatal shootings involving police officers and a black victim.

Obama made calls to mayors Jennifer Roberts of Charlotte and Dewey Bartlett of Tulsa.

The White House says Obama expressed his condolences to both mayors and affirmed the administration's commitment to provide assistance as needed.

Obama and the mayors reiterated that protests should be conducted in a peaceful manner and that local law enforcement should find ways to calmly engage those protesting.

The White House says Obama will continue to get updates on the situations from Attorney General Loretta Lynch and White House adviser Valerie Jarrett.

___

3:45 p.m.

The mother of a man shot to death by Charlotte police says he was a family man.

Keith Lamont Scott's mother, Vernita Walker of Charleston, South Carolina, told The Charlotte Observer that her son had seven children.

She told the newspaper: "He was a family man . And he was a likable person. And he loved his wife and his children."

Scott has a criminal record in three states, including Texas, South Carolina and North Carolina. Texas records show that he was convicted of evading arrest with a vehicle in 2005, and several months later of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

In 1992 in South Carolina, records show Scott pleaded guilty to contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

Court records also show a misdemeanor assault conviction in North Carolina from 2004.

___

3:10 p.m.

About 100 students gathered at the student union at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte to protest the shooting death of a black man by a police officer about a mile from campus.

The students first gathered on a patio behind the student union and were led in prayer. They walked back into the union and held a "lay-in" by lying on the green-carpeted floor in the rotunda.

Some students wore T-shirts reading "Black Lives Matter." Eventually, they began singing "This Little Light of Mine."

The school's chancellor was scheduled to speak later Wednesday afternoon.

Police say Keith Lamont Scott refused repeated demands to drop a handgun and was shot. Neighborhood residents say Scott was unarmed when he was shot to death.

___

2:45 p.m.

Court records indicate that the man shot to death by Charlotte police had a criminal record including an assault conviction.

Mecklenburg County records matching Keith Lamont Scott's name and birth date show Scott was charged in April 2004 with multiple counts, including felony assault with a deadly weapon. Records show that most of the charges were dismissed, and he pleaded guilty to a single charge of misdemeanor assault with a deadly weapon.

Records from nearby Gaston County show that Scott pleaded guilty to driving while impaired in 2015.

A woman who identified herself as an advocate for Scott's family, Annette Albright, said at a news conference that he shouldn't be "re-victimized" because of things he did in the past.

She told reporters: "What he was doing at the time of the shooting is what's relevant."

___

A woman who identified herself as the mother of a black man who was shot to death by Charlotte police says her son was raised in the Charleston, South Carolina, area.

Vernita Walker told The Post and Courier (http://bit.ly/2dbsqY1) that her son Keith Lamont Scott attended James Island Charter School, but she refused to comment further to the newspaper.

A woman who identified herself as Scott's mother answered a cellphone listed for Scott's sister and told The Associated Press the family was not commenting.

At the Walker residence in a neighborhood of modest ranch homes near Charleston, a man standing in the driveway, who would not give his name, said the family had no comment. He said a statement might be issued on Thursday.

___

12:30 p.m.

The North Carolina chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union urged Charlotte police to release any footage from body or dashboard cameras of a fatal shooting this week.

The ACLU noted that a new North Carolina law restricting release of such footage doesn't take effect until Oct. 1. That new law says footage from police body or dashboard cameras can't be released publicly without a court order.

Karen Anderson, executive director of the ACLU of North Carolina, issued a statement that said the Charlotte police department should release any footage in the interest of transparency.

Charlotte's police chief has said the officer who shot Keith Lamont Scott was not wearing a body camera, but chief Kerr Putney also says he cannot release body camera and dashboard camera video from other officers because of the ongoing investigation.

___

12 p.m.

Attorney General Loretta Lynch says the police shooting deaths in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and Charlotte, North Carolina, are highlighting the most vivid and painful divisions that persist between law enforcement and communities of color.

Lynch made her comments at the beginning of her address to the International Bar Association Conference in Washington. She says the Justice Department has opened a civil rights investigation into the death of Terrence Crutcher in Tulsa and the agency is in regular contact with Charlotte authorities as the investigation begins there.

Charlotte's police chief says 43-year-old Keith Lamont Scott refused multiple warnings to drop a handgun before a black officer fatally shot the black man.

A woman claiming to be Scott's daughter posted a video to Facebook soon after the shooting, saying that her father had an unspecified disability and was unarmed when he was shot.

___

10:45 a.m.

An outspoken leader of the Nation of Islam is calling for an economic boycott of Charlotte after a police officer shot a man to death.

B.J. Murphy called for the boycott Wednesday at a news conference of black leaders, saying if black lives don't matter, black money shouldn't matter.

Murphy and others were reacting to the police shooting of 43-year-old Keith Lamont Scott, a black man who was killed Tuesday. Authorities say he had a gun and refused officers' commands to drop it. The officer who fired the fatal shot is also black.

A woman claiming to be Scott's daughter said in a video posted on Facebook that her father was unarmed and had a book, not a gun. Police say they did not find a book at the scene.

___

10:30 a.m.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Chief Kerr Putney says officers recovered a gun that they say a man had when he was shot and killed by an officer.

Putney said at a news conference Wednesday that 43-year-old Keith Lamont Scott had a gun, but no book when officers searched him and his vehicle. A woman claiming to be Scott's daughter said in a video posted on Facebook that her father was unarmed and had a book, not a gun.

The woman's claims could not be verified by The Associated Press.

Putney also says several police vehicles were damaged in the protests that followed Wednesday afternoon's shooting.

Putney says the officer who shot Scott, Brently Vinson, was not wearing a body camera. Putney says he cannot release body camera and dashboard camera video from other officers because of the ongoing investigation.

___

9:45 a.m.

The Charlotte police chief says officers gave 43-year-old Keith Lamont Scott multiple warnings to drop a handgun before fatally shooting him.

Police Chief Kerr Putney said during a news conference Wednesday morning that officers were searching for a suspect Tuesday when they saw Scott exit a vehicle with a handgun. He says the officers told him to drop the gun and that he got out of the vehicle a second time still carrying the gun. He says the man was shot because he posed a threat.

He says officers requested medical help and performed CPR on the black man.

The black officer who shot Scott has been placed on administrative leave while the shooting is investigated.

The chief said 16 officers sustained minor injuries during protests Tuesday night and that one person has been arrested.

___

9:20 a.m.

A civil rights activist says he has a powerful witness to the shooting of a black man by a black Charlotte police officer at an apartment complex.

John Barnett said Wednesday morning that the witness did not see 43-year-old Keith Lamont Scott make any threatening gestures toward officers before he was shot Tuesday afternoon. Scott died at the scene of the shooting.

Barnett did not immediately name the witness.

Protests lasted throughout the night, damaging police cars, causing minor injuries to about a dozen officers and closing down a part of Interstate 85 not far from the shooting scene.

Charlotte's mayor and police chief also plan to make statements about the shooting Wednesday morning.

___

9:10. a.m.

Charlotte officials plan to release a statement on the latest in their investigation of the shooting of a black man by a black police officer Tuesday afternoon.

The statement was to be released at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday. It was not immediately clear if a city spokesman would take questions on the investigation.

Streets in Charlotte were clear Wednesday morning after angry motorists protested over the shooting Tuesday night.

Forty-three-year-old Keith Lamont Scott was shot to death by an officer who has been placed on administrative leave during the investigation into the shooting.

Scott's family was expected to meet with reporters at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday.

___

5:50 a.m.

The streets in Charlotte, North Carolina, are quiet Wednesday morning after angry protests over the fatal police shooting of a black man left officers injured and shut down an interstate.

Traffic is flowing again on Interstate 85, hours after protesters blocked the highway and television footage showed some apparently looting semi-trucks and setting their contents on fire.

No protesters could be seen around 5 a.m. but broken glass and rocks littered the ground where a police car had been vandalized during protests earlier. Less than 5 miles away, wooden pallets barricaded the entrance to a Wal-Mart that had apparently been looted.

The protests broke out Tuesday after 43-year-old Keith Lamont Scott was fatally shot by a black officer at an apartment complex on the city's northeast side.

___

3 a.m.

Demonstrators protesting the fatal shooting of a black man by a police officer in Charlotte, North Carolina, have shut down a small section of Interstate 85.

TV footage early Wednesday showed dozens of protesters on the highway facing a line of law enforcement officers. At one point a fire flared up.

The North Carolina Department of Transportation website shows a portion of the highway near UNC Charlotte is closed in both directions. The website says the closure is due to police activity.

Neither the North Carolina Highway Patrol nor Charlotte police could immediately be reached for comment.

The protest comes after police on Tuesday fatally shot 43-year-old Keith Lamont Scott. Demonstrators had gathered earlier near the scene of the shooting before a smaller group moved to the highway.