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US city of Charlotte announces curfew amid violent protests

23 September 2016 13:47

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The mayor of Charlotte, North Carolina, has imposed a curfew as hundreds of demonstrators marched to express their anger over  the police killing of an African American man whose family says he was unarmed when shot.

Mayor Jennifer Roberts imposed a curfew effective midnight Thursday (0400 GMT Friday) as protesters and police in Charlotte confronted each other for a third evening on Thursday night to denounce the police shooting of Keith Lamont Scott.

But demonstrators remained in the streets well past midnight in defiance of the curfew. Police later said the curfew would not be enforced as long as protests are peaceful.

Police officers armed with rifles fired rubber bullets and tear gas canisters at several hundred protesters blocking a highway.

Scott was killed by police on Tuesday.  The 43-year-old’s death outraged Black Lives Matter activists, leading to protests and clashes there.


Demonstrators march during protests on September 22, 2016 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by AFP)

Demonstrators also marched to the city police station carrying signs saying “Stop killing us” and “Resistance is beautiful.”  Many were shouting, “No Justice, No Peace.”

North Carolina has recently passed a law that bans the public release of police video from body or dashboard cameras with limited exceptions.

The shooting death of Scott happened at a time when anti-police sentiment is already high across the US due to a surge of unjustified killings of unarmed African Americans over the past few months.

Police killed over 1,150 people in 2015, with the largest police departments disproportionately killing at least 321 African Americans, according to data compiled by an activist group that runs the Mapping Police Violence project.

According to a recent survey, racial tensions in the US are at the highest level since the 1992 Los Angeles riots that were started after a jury acquitted four white police officers of the use of excessive force in the videotaped arrest and beating of African American Rodney King.

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