(CHARLOTTE, N.C.) — Charlotte Mayor Jennifer Roberts said she’s considering imposing a curfew Thursday after two nights of violent protests have rocked the North Carolina city.
“We certainly are going to talk about that today. We did sign a statement last night to declare a state of emergency, which gives us that authority,” Roberts said in an interview Thursday on ABC News’ Good Morning America.
“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 city unraveled into chaos after a police officer fatally shot a black man at an apartment complex Tuesday. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department Chief Kerr Putney said the man, identified as 43-year-old Keith Lamont Scott, was holding a handgun, which investigators recovered from the scene, and posed a threat because he was not obeying police orders to not exit his vehicle and drop the weapon.
Scott’s family, however, has said he was not armed and was holding a book while waiting for his son to be dropped off from school.
Protests broke out after news of Scott’s death. At least 16 police officers were injured while trying to quell angry demonstrators Tuesday night, and multiple police vehicles were damaged. At least one person was arrested, according to Putney.
The protests continued for the second day and the scene grew violent again as night fell on Charlotte. The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department said four of its officers sustained injuries Wednesday night, all non-life threatening.
One person was shot during the protests and is on life support, city officials announced on Twitter. Earlier, the city tweeted that the person had died and that the shooting was “civilian on civilian.”
In addition to declaring a state of emergency, the unrest also prompted North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory to call in the National Guard. Charlotte Mayor Roberts said she spoke with President Obama on Wednesday, who offered to provide federal resources to help keep the city safe.
During the interview with GMA Thursday morning, Roberts called on Charlotte citizens to have peaceful protests and work together. Still, officials are getting ready for the worst, she said.
“This is not the Charlotte that I grew up in, the Charlotte that I know,” Roberts said. “We are preparing for this evening and we know that a peaceful protest and many folks who do want to express their view peacefully turned into something else last night.”
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