US city considering curfew to quell unrest after police shooting

Authorities in Charlotte, North Carolina, are considering imposing a curfew after a second night of violence since police killed a 43-year-old African-American, amid conflicting accounts of whether he was armed.

The Tuesday shooting was followed by night-time demonstrations that turned violent, with 16 police injured and one person initially arrested.

More rioting broke out overnight Wednesday, with vandalism and looting in central Charlotte. Seven police officers were injured on the second night, and one person was critically wounded in what authorities described as "civilian-on-civilian" violence.

The city declared a state of emergency late Wednesday and Mayor Jennifer Roberts told ABC News the following day that a curfew was "certainly" under consideration.

"We did sign a statement last night to declare a state of emergency, which gives us that authority," she said. "I will be consulting with our city manager and our police chief and other leaders in our response team to see if that might be a good idea for tonight."

The family of Keith Lamont Scott, who died shortly after being shot by police, are to be shown a video of the incident, Roberts said, according to the Charlotte Observer newspaper.

Police say he was holding a handgun when confronted by police and ignored orders to drop the weapon. Scott's family claim he was unarmed and holding a book.

Police said Wednesday that a handgun was taken into evidence at the shooting scene near Scott's body. Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Chief Kerr Putney said that witnesses corroborated that officers shouted for the suspect to drop a weapon.

The officer, himself African-American, who shot Scott was a two-year veteran of the Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department. He was in plain clothes and wearing a marked police vest but no body camera. Three uniformed officers present at the shooting were wearing body cameras.

The US Justice Department was examining Scott's death, Attorney General Loretta Lynch said Wednesday.

Last update: Thu, 22/09/2016 - 16:45
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