CHARLOTTE, North Carolina — Protests erupted in North Carolina after an officer fatally shot one man while serving a warrant for a different person at an apartment complex in Charlotte.
Crowds gathered near the complex Tuesday night, chanting “no justice, no peace!” and carrying signs that said “Black Lives Matter.”
Some threw water bottles and rocks at officers working to control the protesters.
The protests continued into early Wednesday as crowds blocked Interstate 85 and started a fire at the center of the highway. Vehicles and tractor-trailers stalled as far as the eye could see as police cars with flashing lights hovered nearby.
The man shot by a Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officer Tuesday afternoon has been identified as Keith Lamont Scott, Charlotte Mayor Jennifer Roberts said.
Brentley Vinson, the officer involved in the shooting, has been placed on paid administrative leave, according to the mayor.
Charlotte’s is the latest case involving an officer-involved shooting, and has attracted the attention of Black Lives Matter protesters who are demanding justice and an end to police brutality.
In Oklahoma, protesters gathered for several days following the Friday killing of Terence Crutcher by an officer in Tulsa.
‘When will our lives truly matter?’
Most of the protesters cited the case of Ahmad Rahami, the suspect in the New York and New Jersey explosions who was arrested alive Monday after a shootout.
“Something has to be done … there was a terrorist in New Jersey, New York. He was taken alive,” protester Nichelle Dunlap told CNN affiliate WCCB in Charlotte.
“They said they want to question him. So because you wanted to question him, does his life mean more than our black men across the nation? It doesn’t make any sense.”
Corine Mack, who attended the protests in Charlotte, said the community is frustrated.
“When will our lives truly matter? A black father is dead. There are children tonight who will never see their father again,” said Mack, who is president of the Charlotte chapter of the NAACP.
“It clearly appears as if our lives don’t matter. We need to change policies. We need to change procedure. We need to hold police accountable. It’s a modern day lynching. Charlotte is not a good place right now, we’re in the throes of this problem.”
The mayor called for a full investigation into the shooting, saying she’ll work with authorities on the case.
“The community deserves answers and full investigation will ensue. Will be reaching out to community leaders to work together,” the mayor tweeted.
The incident started when Charlotte police looking to serve a warrant Tuesday shot and killed a man in the parking lot of an apartment complex.
Though the man was armed, he’s not the one police were looking for, the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department said in a statement.
The Tuesday afternoon shooting set off an angry crowd response that grew as the hours passed.
It’s unclear why authorities were serving the warrant. While they were looking for that individual, officers saw a man get out of a car with a gun, then get back into the vehicle, the statement said.
Officers moved in.
“The subject got back out of the vehicle armed with a firearm and posed an imminent deadly threat to the officers who subsequently fired their weapon striking the subject,” police said.
Police Chief Kerr Putney said at least one officer shot the man. Two investigative branches of the department were looking into the shooting, he said
Scott died at Carolinas Medical Center. A gun he was holding was found at the scene, police said.
CNN affiliate WSOC reported that protesters blocked off a road as a line of police in riot gear stretched across the street.
At least 12 officers suffered injuries during the protests, the police department tweeted. It did not provide details on the nature and severity of the injuries, but said one of its officers was hit in the face with a rock.
The officer involved in the shooting has worked for the department for two years.