Charlotte protesters demand justice after no charges filed in police killing of black man
A large number of demonstrators have taken to the streets of the US city of Charlotte to protest against a decision to not charge an officer in the shooting death of an African-American man.
The protesters were angered by the release of the two-month investigation by the district attorney on Wednesday that determined that the officer, Brentley Vinson, was justified in fatally shooting 43-year-old Keith Lamont Scott in an apartment complex parking lot in September in Charlotte, North Carolina.
The protesters marched through the streets of downtown Charlotte on Wednesday night, chanting “No Justice, No Peace!” and “Tell the truth and stop the lies, Keith Scott didn’t have to die.”
“Stop killing black people,” some protesters’ T-shirts read. “How to get away with murder: Become a cop,” said the signs.
“If we don’t get no justice then you don’t get no peace,” the protesters chanted.
A number of people from the local clergy also joined the protesters urging them to remain peaceful. One cleric chanted, “The blood of Jesus” over and again.
“I’m out here today to protest the lack of indictment for the officers who murdered Keith Lamont Scott,” a student protester said. “To me it reflects the ultimate continued theme of what we’ve seen throughout this nation’s history, where the state protects the states interest.”
The protesters were flanked by police officers on bikes. Many demonstrators were very angry but they remained peaceful, but still police arrested some of them.
Following the shooting death of Scott on September 20, thousands of protesters flooded the streets of Charlotte to denounce the atrocity. The peaceful protests soon escalated into a violent encounter between angry protesters and police, forcing North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory to declare a state of emergency.
Charlotte authorities announced the decision of filing no charges against Vinson, the Charlotte-Mecklenburg officer, 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.