Protesters took to Charlotte’s streets for a third straight night and defied a midnight curfew in the US city early Friday, amid heavy security aimed at preventing more clashes over the fatal police shooting of a black man.
Hundreds marched to the city police station carrying signs saying “Stop killing us” and “Resistance is beautiful,” but the atmosphere was far calmer than the previous two nights.
Several hundred protesters remained on the street following the midnight (0400 GMT) curfew, but security forces took a hands off approach and did not enforce the restriction.
Pressure is growing on police to release video of the shooting of Keith Lamont Scott, a 43-year-old African American, whose killing on Tuesday sparked the unrest.
But members of Scott’s family watched the footage Thursday, raising “more questions than answers,” their lawyers said.
Scott’s death was the latest in a string of police-involved killings of black men that have fueled outrage across the United States.
North Carolina’s governor has declared a state of emergency in Charlotte, and several hundred National Guard troops and highway police officers were deployed to reinforce local police protecting city infrastructure and businesses.
“We are going to be a lot more proactive,” Charlotte Police Chief Kerr Putney told a news conference. “We made 44 arrests last night because we are not going to tolerate the behavior.”
A protester shot by a civilian in Wednesday night’s protests died in hospital on Thursday, local media reported.
Protesters held an impromptu vigil on the sidewalk where the man was struck by a bullet from a shooter who remained at large. They lit candles and offered prayers.