CHARLOTTE, N.C. - It was a night of chaos on the streets of Charlotte Tuesday as protesters blocked streets and set fires following the death of yet another black man at the hands of a police officer.
Keity Lamont Scott, 40, was shot and killed while officers were looking to serve a warrant to a completely different person. Cops said that Scott had a handgun when he got out of his car, and they told him to drop it multiple times before officer Brently Vinson, a black man, fired the shot that killed him.
Scott's family said he never had a gun and instead they claim he was holding a book. However, the only people who truly know what happened are Scott and the officers that were there. Since the officers are the only ones alive to tell their side of the story, civil rights leaders are calling for an open investigation.
"They need to be transparent and know that they need to inform us of what exactly is going on," said John C. Barnett, an activist for Charlotte's Office of Civil Rights. "An investigation is not going to be good enough for the windows at Walmart, it's not going to be good enough for these streets out here to be blocked."
Hundreds of protesters took part in the demonstrations. Most of them remained peaceful, but others damaged police cruisers and threw bottles and rocks at cops, injuring a dozen officers. Charlotte Mayor Jennifer Roberts is pleading for restraint from both sides.
"I'm asking all of our Charlotte community to stand together to help us, give us the time to get the right information and then to continue dialogue going forward at how we can continue to be a peaceful community," Roberts said.
Scott's death comes just days after Terence Crutcher was shot and killed by police in Tulsa, Okla. The justice department is investigating that shooting and will likely be called on to investigate in Charlotte as well.