The second night of unrest in Charlotte, North Carolina, over the fatal police shooting of a black man, Keith Lamont Scott, turned ugly after protesters clashed with the law enforcement officers. At least one person was shot and transported to a local hospital with life-threatening injuries while Gov. Pat McCrory declared a state of emergency, deploying the National Guard and State Highway Patrol troopers to assist local police.
The protests across the city were a brutal reminder of the injustices faced by the African-American community — which is precisely why, when a news reporter asked a demonstrator the reason she was out on the streets, he got a viciously honest lesson on what it is like to be black in this country.
“Black people get shot everyday, right?” the unidentified woman began. “It’s OK for them, right? It’s OK for our fathers and our brothers not to come home, right?”
Fox reporter Steve Harrigan then asked her another question.
“If a man was shot about 50 yards over there, and we don’t know by who, why are you here?”
For those unaware, an undercover police shot Scott, a father of seven, while he was sitting in his car, reportedly waiting to pick up his son from school.
“Why am I here? Because I serve a purpose, sir. Because my father serves a purpose, my brother serves a purpose,” the protester exclaimed. “I’m here, because guess what? I’m here, I’m in school, I’m in my car. OK, you said a man got shot over here, right? So you basically said why would I put myself in danger? Because I could be at work, in school, in my car — I could still get shot by the police!”
She then raised her arm and explained how she and Harrigan might be both humans but they are not the same because she is black.
Meanwhile, during a live TV interview, Charlotte attorney Toussaint Romain dismissed the media’s portrayal of the protesters as violent.
“The police getting violent or the people expressing themselves at police?” he said. “‘Cause if you were to take this camera and look all around, I don’t see the violence, man. Until the police are running at us. And so they’re throwing tear gas at you. And at me. ‘Cause that’s what happened earlier. Why’d you get tear-gassed? Why did I? But we responded in a way that was frustrated and upset, telling America: ‘This is enough.’ It doesn’t mean I’m violent, man. It means I’ve had enough.”
Banner and thumbnail credit: Reuters, Adam Rhew