Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

If you’ve been waiting for the right time to support our work—that time is now.

Our mission is simple: To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good.

But without the support of our readers, this model does not work and we simply won’t survive. It’s that simple.
We must meet our Mid-Year Campaign goal but we need you now.

Please, support independent journalism today.

Join the small group of generous readers who donate, keeping Common Dreams free for millions of people each year. Without your help, we won’t survive.

 Two women embrace while looking at a police officer in riot gear during a protest against the police shooting of Keith Lamont Scott in uptown Charlotte, North Carolina on September 21, 2016. (Photo: Jason Miczek/ Reuters)

 Two women embrace while looking at a police officer in riot gear during a protest against the police shooting of Keith Lamont Scott in uptown Charlotte, North Carolina on September 21, 2016. (Photo: Jason Miczek/ Reuters)

In Charlotte, National Guard Descends on Community Seeking Justice and Answers

Demonstrators in Charlotte, NC confront riot police for a second night after the shooting death of Keith Lamont Scott

Lauren McCauley

The National Guard and State Highway Patrol were deployed Thursday morning in uptown Charlotte after another night of demonstrations captured the community's grief and outrage over the recent police killing of Keith Lamont Scott.

Scott's family said they are seeking answers as well as justice and on Thursday they are expecting to watch a video depicting his shooting death. Both the ACLU and the local chapter of the NAACP asked for that footage to be made public after police claimed the 43-year-old, father of seven was armed and "posed an imminent deadly threat" while he waited at his child's bus stop—directly contradicting the family, who said he did not possess a gun.

"After listening to remarks made by Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Chief Putney...we have more questions than answers about Keith's death," read a statement put forth by Scott's wife, Rakeiya Scott, Wednesday evening. "Rest assured, we will work diligently to get answers to our questions as quickly as possible."

"As a family," Scott continued, "we respect the rights of those who wish to protest, but we ask that people protest peacefully. Please do not hurt people or members of law enforcement, damage property or take things that do not belong to you in the name of protesting."

Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II, president of the North Carolina NAACP, echoed those concerns. In a statement Wednesday, Barber called for the "full release of all facts available" and asked that the city "be transparent with any video and any additional information...that can bring light in the tragic death of Mr. Keith Lamont Scott at the hands of a Charlotte police officer."

"We support those who exercise the right to peacefully protest, and encourage the first amendment right to call for redress of wrongs," he added. "We stand against efforts that undermine the legitimate calls for justice with unjust, random or purposeless acts of violence."

Following the Tuesday afternoon shooting, the city of Charlotte exploded with demonstrators clashing with police in riot gear.  The protests continued Wednesday evening, intensifying after one of the demonstrators was severely injured in the melee.

Though police reported the incident was "civilian on civilian," the Charlotte Clergy Coalition for Justice, whose members witnessed the protests, issued a statement saying "we believe he was shot by police. We would like to see surveillance video from the surrounding area that may have captured the shooting to determine who was responsible for the shooting," according to the Charlotte Observer.

Police in riot gear reportedly fired tear gas and rubber bullets at the demonstrators. North Carolina's Republican governor, Pat McCrory, called a State of Emergency late Wednesday and, the Observer reported, the National Guard began to patrol streets around 8am on Thursday. Charlotte Mayor Jennifer Roberts told Good Morning America on Thursday that the city is also talking about implementing a curfew.

But while those aggressive measures may temper protests, the frustration felt in the black community only continues to grow.

"This is a rebellion, because people just can't take it anymore," said labor and community activist Dhruv Pathak, who took part in the protests.

"I'm angry and I am upset," another protester told reporters, "but this is not the end. I'm outraged at the simple fact that this community and society and nation can sit comfortably in their homes while this is taking place."

"This has been going on for the last 50 years and the only reason it's heard now in 2015 is because social media is bringing it right to the front door," added demonstrator Calvin Howell, referring to the police killing of black people. Now, he said, "everybody is seeing it and everybody is tired of it."

"We play the police's salary," Howell continued, "we are paying for service and protection and we are being killed by the people we are paying to protect us. ...[W]e gotta do better than this. The police gotta do better."

The U.S. Justice Department (DOJ) confirmed to reporters that its Community Relations Service will be sending staffers to Charlotte. The DOJ has also launched an investigation into the death of Terence Crutcher, an unarmed black man who was shot and killed by police in Tulsa, Oklahoma on Friday.

Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

"I'm sure this will be all over the corporate media, right?"
That’s what one longtime Common Dreams reader said yesterday after the newsroom reported on new research showing how corporate price gouging surged to a nearly 70-year high in 2021. While major broadcasters, newspapers, and other outlets continue to carry water for their corporate advertisers when they report on issues like inflation, economic inequality, and the climate emergency, our independence empowers us to provide you stories and perspectives that powerful interests don’t want you to have. But this independence is only possible because of support from readers like you. You make the difference. If our support dries up, so will we. Our crucial Mid-Year Campaign is now underway and we are in emergency mode to make sure we raise the necessary funds so that every day we can bring you the stories that corporate, for-profit outlets ignore and neglect. Please, if you can, support Common Dreams today.


Motorist 'Tried to Murder' Abortion Rights Advocates at Iowa Protest, Witnesses Say

Although one witness said the driver went "out of his way" to hit pro-choice protestors in the street, Cedar Rapids police declined to make an arrest.

Kenny Stancil ·

'A Hate Crime': Oslo Pride Parade Canceled After Deadly Shooting at Gay Bar

A 42-year-old gunman has been charged with terrorism following what Norway's prime minister called a "terrible and deeply shocking attack on innocent people."

Kenny Stancil ·

'We WILL Fight Back': Outrage, Resolve as Protests Erupt Against SCOTUS Abortion Ruling

Demonstrators took to the streets Friday to defiantly denounce the Supreme Court's right-wing supermajority after it rescinded a constitutional right for the first time in U.S. history.

Brett Wilkins ·

80+ US Prosecutors Vow Not to Be Part of Criminalizing Abortion Care

"Criminalizing and prosecuting individuals who seek or provide abortion care makes a mockery of justice," says a joint statement signed by 84 elected attorneys. "Prosecutors should not be part of that."

Kenny Stancil ·

Progressives Rebuke Dem Leadership as Clyburn Dismisses Death of Roe as 'Anticlimactic'

"The gap between the Democratic leadership, and younger progressives on the question of 'How Bad Is It?' is just enormous."

Julia Conley ·

Common Dreams Logo