• 09.21.16

Charlotte In Upheaval After The Death Of Keith Lamont Scott

Scott was the third black male killed by U.S. law enforcement in less than one week.

Charlotte In Upheaval After The Death Of Keith Lamont Scott
Police officers face off with protesters on the I-85 (Interstate 85) during protests in the early hours of September 21, 2016 in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Protests have rocked the city of Charlotte following the death of Keith Lamont Scott, a 43-year-old black man, who was shot by police outside of an apartment complex Tuesday afternoon.


Late into the night through Wednesday morning, demonstrators blocked Interstate 85 to voice their outrage, reportedly setting ablaze vehicle cargo and hurling debris at officers, who launched tear gas into the crowds to break up the gathering.

Police were serving an arrest warrant to a different person on Tuesday when, the department said, Scott emerged from a parked vehicle with a gun, allegedly “threatening officers” and ignoring commands. Members of Scott’s family had told media that he was in his car reading; Charlotte-Mecklenburg police chief Kerr Putney said at a news conference this morning that they had found the gun that Scott had allegedly wielded. The officer who shot and killed Scott was black.

The shooting marks the third high-profile death of a black male at the hands of U.S. law enforcement in less than a week. Last Wednesday, 13-year-old Tyre King was killed when Columbus, Ohio, police officers responding to a robbery shot him three times while running away with a BB gun; on Saturday, 40-year-old Terence Crutcher was tasered and shot by Tulsa police after his vehicle stalled on his way back from a college class.

People on social media have expressed skepticism toward the gun discovery, given two recent instances of officers getting caught fabricating evidence an charges. On Monday, video surfaced depicting Connecticut officers trumping up charges against a protester, while new documents from the murder trial of a former St. Louis officer suggests that he planted a gun on his victim.

Meanwhile, pressure mounts for presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump to address the U.S.’s growing epidemic of police violence against people of color. Trump told a church this morning—after being introduced by an n-word-dropping Don King—that he was “troubled” by Crutcher’s death, while Clinton’s campaign tweeted, “This has got to end.”

About the author

J.J. McCorvey is a staff writer for Fast Company, where he covers business and technology.