Charlotte riot police shot and killed a man protesting against the cop shooting death of Keith Lamont Scott Wednesday night, contradicting the police narrative that he was killed by another protester, according to multiple witnesses.
The victim’s name was Justin Carr. Police have yet to say whether he was killed by a live bullet, rubber bullet or tear gas canister.
North Carolina residents have spent their second consecutive night protesting police brutality after Charlotte-Mecklenburg police shot and killed Keith L. Scott who was not armed, and witnesses told a Facebook live audience was only holding a book in his hand.
Another key eye witness report emerged from Charlotte on Twitter, along with a graphic photo of the bloody aftermath and a haunting statement from Todd Zimmer, who claims to have assisted in the emergency response.
“I didn’t want to post about this, but my city is lying about what happened tonight. Let the record show.”
Kahran Meyers is a North Carolina criminal defense lawyer witnessed the shooting first hand at a peaceful protest. The 29-year-old lawyer published this tweet just an hour after witnessing the shots and noticing that the weapons discharge did not sound like a typical firearm:
“I didn’t realize that I was standing next to someone from CNN at the time. It started when everybody met at the park and marched from there down a couple of city blocks, when somebody said let’s march to the police station. It was peaceful, people had signs that said “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot,” Kahran Meyer told me at 1:50am tonight.
“Then they marched to Kandy Bar roughly a mile away,” which is a bar involved in a viral incident involving membership discrimination this weekend and Meyer continued, “As soon as we leave ‘The Epicenter’ [which is the main public square in Charlotte], police create an arc, so that people cannot leave”
“The protest then marched to College Street and Trade Street in front of the Omni Hotel. At that time, police were not at all directing traffic, just keeping the peace,” Meyer told me almost breathlessly, “I’ve been told that the idea was to walk into the Omni and hold our hands up [in protest] and chant ‘hands up, don’t shoot’ and there was a crowd of roughly 1,000 people. We wanted to demonstrate to the upper class, the bourgeoisie that there is a problem.”
“After leaving ‘The Epicenter,’ police made a human barrier to block a return to the main square, so the crowd was facing the hotel.”
“At that point, all of the protests were completely peaceful.”
“That’s when the riot police arrived.”
“I swear to god, you could feel the temperature go up by 10 degrees.”
Meyers had a brief interaction with one of the riot officers at that point, and asked them whose idea it was to send out police in heavy armor. The Charlotte officer coyly nodded his head upward as if to indicate brass. Meyers told him that it was an unnecessary escalation, and the riot cop replied, “oh, absolutely.”
Five minutes later, a protester lie near death in a pool of blood in the street.
“It wasn’t a gunshot,” she said, “it was much louder. It wasn’t a civilian injury. The way people scattered. No way. At least a dozen people exclaimed loudly ‘They just shot him’ and people in the crowd were familiar with him [the protester shot by police]. At that point, the peaceful protesters who hadn’t already left, exited.”
At that moment, Meyers says that Charlotte-Mecklenberg police then read the riot act to the protesters. As she made it to the next block, police opened up with teargas from two directions into the already retreating crowd of peaceful protesters.
It took Meyers fifteen minutes to leave the scene, and as she was departing she spotted a news crew reviewing live video, it was a split-screen. According to Meyer, that videographer was from CNN and had been standing next to the lawyer, and when reunited said it was ‘entirely too loud for a gunshot too. It was so loud it shook my tripod and all of my equipment.’
The City of Charlotte began spinning the protester’s grave injuries immediately on Twitter:
Two additional eye witness reports have emerged on Twitter tonight confirming that Charlotte police’s claim that a civilian shot and severely injured a protester. The first is from the Charlotte Clergy Coalition for Justice, who issued a press release of sorts through a widely followed Palestinian rights activist.
“I saw the man go down on the pavement,” said Minister Steve Knight of Missiongathering Christian Church in Charlotte whose written statement points the finger squarely at Charlotte-Meckenberg Police for the shooting, “It was an ambush. The victim was shot while he stood between two ministers, and we believe he was shot by police.”
Lastly, a man named Eddie Thomas posted on Facebook – which was also shared via twitter – that, “within 5 mins (no exaggeration a dude lay bleeding on the ground, eye rolling in the bakc of his head. he got shot with something, maybe a rubber bullet. I yelled at the bike cops for help and they did nothing.
“I spoke with a Sargeant that I see every day in court and told him about his officers. His response was that they were protecting property.”
“No property had been damaged all night.”
UPDATE: A fifth credible account of last night’s shooting has emerged. Notably there has been no announcement of a search for the suspect.
UPDATE II: The victim has died and his name was Justin Carr. And there is still no word on whether he was shot with a lead bullet or a rubber bullet or a tear gas canister. And police do not seem to be in any hurry to find his killer.