At least nine people were injured and 44 people were arrested during a second night of violent protests in Charlotte, North Carolina, the city’s police chief said on Thursday, following the fatal police shooting of a black man.
One man remained in critical condition after being shot late Wednesday, said Kerr Putney, the chief of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg police. Police used tear gas, rubber bullets and flash-bang grenades to disperse demonstrators who looted stores and threw rocks, bottles and fireworks, Reuters reported.
Officials initially said the Wednesday victim was shot by a civilian, but on Thursday Putney acknowledged some claims he was shot by a law enforcement officer.
“We’re here to seek the truth, so we’re investigating that to find the truth, the absolute truth as best as the evidence can show us,” Putney said.
Four police officers suffered non-life threatening injuries, city officials said.
The latest trouble erupted after a peaceful rally earlier in the evening by protesters who reject the official account of how Keith Scott, 43, was gunned down by a black police officer in the parking lot of an apartment complex on Tuesday afternoon.
The killing was the latest in a long series of controversial fatal police shootings of black men across the United States, sparking more than two years of protests asserting racial bias and excessive force by police and giving rise to the Black Lives Matter movement.
Scott’s killing marked the 214th incident of a black person by police this year, according to Mapping Police Violence, an anti-police violence group created out of the protest movement. There is no national-level government data on police shootings.
Authorities say Scott was wielding a handgun and was shot after refusing commands to drop it. His family and a witness say he was holding a book, not a firearm, when he was killed.
A spokesman for the Charlotte Fraternal Order of Police told CNN on Thursday he had seen video from the scene showing Scott holding a gun.
“It is important that we have a full and transparent investigation of the original incident,” Charlotte Mayor Jennifer Roberts told a press conference.