Man shot in North Carolina had gun, says police chief

World Wednesday 21/September/2016 13:54 PM
By: Times News Service
Man shot in North Carolina had gun, says police chief

Charlotte/Tulsa: A black man whom police killed in a Charlotte, North Carolina, parking lot ignored their commands to drop his weapon, the city's police chief said on Wednesday, hours after the shooting sparked violent protests that injured 16 officers.
The Charlotte violence unfolded as demonstrators in Tulsa, Oklahoma, called for the arrest of a police officer there who was seen in widely viewed videos shooting to death an unarmed black man who had his hands in clear view at the time.
The incidents were the latest to raise questions of racial bias in US law enforcement.
US Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton called for an end to these types of shootings. Her Republican rival, Donald Trump, questioned what the Tulsa officer was thinking in shooting a man he said appeared to pose no imminent threat.
Criminal investigations have been opened in both cities following the shootings, and the US Justice Department has started a separate probe into the Oklahoma incident to see if officers' use of force amounted to a civil rights violation.
A black Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police officer on Tuesday killed Keith Scott, 43, who had been seen entering a vehicle with a handgun, Chief Kerr Putney said at a news conference. Scott was surrounded by police and was shot after he exited the car and did not obey officers' instructions to drop his weapon, Putney said.
"He stepped out, posing a threat to the officers, and Officer Brentley Vinson subsequently fired his weapon, striking the subject," Putney said, adding that police acted heroically in trying to stem the protests that followed.
Scott's family said he was reading in his car and was unarmed, while Putney said police recovered a handgun they said Scott was holding.
"I can also tell you we did not find a book," Putney said. "We did find a weapon."
North Carolina allows for the open carry of handguns, including having a pistol in a vehicle.
One protester was arrested, and several were injured in demonstrations that blocked an interstate highway.
Protesters set fires and stoned police cars, Putney said. Police deployed gas to disperse the crowd.
More protests were expected on Wednesday, and Putney said: "It is time to change the narrative."
At the same news conference, Charlotte Mayor Jennifer Roberts called for patience with the investigation.
The American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina on Wednesday said police should release body and dash camera footage from the shooting scene.
In Oklahoma, protesters on Tuesday called for the arrest of Tulsa Police Officer Betty Shelby, who is white, for the killing on Friday of Terence Crutcher, 40, whose sport utility vehicle broke down and was blocking a road.
A lawyer for Shelby has said she acted because she feared for her life, believing Crutcher was reaching into his vehicle for a weapon. Lawyers for the Crutcher family released still images from police videos showing the car window was shut and said the use of force was not justified.
Two police videos, one from a helicopter and one from a patrol car dashcam, show Shelby with her weapon drawn following Crutcher as he walked slowly to his vehicle with his hand in the air. Shelby shoots him as he puts his hands on the vehicle, and he falls to the ground.
Police shootings in cities including New York, Baltimore, Chicago and Ferguson, Missouri, have sparked more than two years of largely peaceful street protests that have been punctuated by days of rioting and arson.
The shootings have also renewed debate about race and justice in the United States and given rise to the Black Lives Matter movement.