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12 police injured in Charlotte protests after fatal shooting of black man

By Andrew V. Pestano

CHARLOTTE, N.C., Sept. 21 (UPI) -- At least 12 officers were injured when hundreds of demonstrators took to the streets in Charlotte -- some clashing with police -- to protest the fatal officer-involved shooting of Keith Lamont Scott, a black man.

The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department said at least 12 officers were injured in protests, one of whom was hit in the face with a rock. The protests escalated after "a number of agitators ... joined demonstrators."

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Protesters in Charlotte blocked streets for hours while riot police attempted to use tear gas to disperse them. On early Wednesday, protesters shut down all lanes of traffic on northbound Interstate 85 and started a fire on the highway. Police dispersed protesters by charging at them with nightsticks.

Throughout the night, protesters chanted slogans and held signs saying "Black Lives Matter" and "Stop Killing Us."

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The Charlotte Observer reported one man repeatedly shouted "accountability!" at CMPD officers, while another yelled "You don't get to murder us and get away with it!"

The officer-involved shooting death of Scott, 43, occurred Tuesday in Charlotte's University City neighborhood. Police said they had been searching for someone who had an outstanding warrant when they saw Scott leave his car. Officers on the scene said Scott had a gun.

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Police said officers then approached Scott when he returned to the car. Officers shot Scott after he got out of the car again with a firearm "and posed an imminent deadly threat to the officers," police said.

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A woman who said she was Scott's daughter said in a live stream video on Facebook that Scott was unarmed when he was shot. She said Scott was holding a book he was reading while waiting for the school bus to drop off his son.

Protests also took place Tuesday in Tulsa, where another black man, Terence Crutcher, was shot by police.

On Monday, Tulsa Police Chief Chuck Jordan confirmed Crutcher, 40, was unarmed when he was fatally shot on Friday as he walked near his stalled vehicle. The officer who shot Crutcher, Betty Shelby, and an officer who deployed a Taser, Tyler Turnbough, were placed on administrative leave.

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A video of the shooting of Crutcher was released by the Tulsa Police Department, in which Crutcher is seen being shot while his arms were raised. Police said he "refused to follow commands given by the officers" and that "he reached inside the vehicle."

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