— BBC Newsnight (@BBCNewsnight) September 22, 2016
ANorth Carolina congressman said on Thursday that protesters in Charlotte”hate white people because white people are successful and they’re not” following two nights of violent demonstrations over the death of a black man at the hands of police.
Robert Pittenger, a Republican, told the BBC that Democratic welfare policies had kept black people in “bondage” for decades, and led to hatred toward more prosperous white people that spilled over into violence.
The remark came after Mike Pence, Donald Trump’s running mate, said he and the Republican nominee believe there has been “far too much talk” about institutional racism in policing.
Both comments resulted in outrage amid the tense climate following police shootings of black men in Tulsa, Oklahoma and Charlotte.
Betty Shelby, the Tulsa officer who killed Terence Crutcher, an unarmed black man, was charged on Thursday with first degree manslaughter.
Police in Charlotte insist, however, that officers were justified in shooting Keith Lamont Scott, claiming he had been brandishing a gun and refuting claims from Mr Scott’s family that he had been reading a book.
There is video of the incident, but Chief Kerr Putney says it does not offer “definitive” evidence that Mr Scott was holding a weapon.
Mr Putney has rejected calls to release the video, from a dashboard camera, suggesting that it would not help reduce tensions.
“There’s your truth, my truth and the truth,” he said. “Some people have already made up their minds.”
Mr Scott’s wife and other family members viewed the police body camera video, but the family said it still “has more questions than answers”.
“While police did give him several commands, he did not aggressively approach them or raise his hands at members of law enforcement at any time,” Justin Bamberg, an attorney for the family, said.
“It is impossible to discern from the videos what, if anything, Mr Scott is holding in his hands,” the statement said, adding that Mr Scott’s hands were by his sides and he was slowly walking backward.
The US National Guard was dispatched to Charlotte on Thursday after a state of emergency was declared when a second night of protests turned into chaotic clashes on Wednesday.
One man who was in critical condition after being shot has since passed away. Keith Trietley, a police spokesman, said 26-year-old Justin Carr died on Thursday at the hospital.
Nine other civilians and four police officers were injured.
Windows were smashed, cars vanadalised and shops looted as police struggled to contain the destruction.
Nine civilians were injured in total, along with four police officers.
Businesses told employees to stay home on Thursday as the typically busy uptown neighbourhood was largely absndoned.
Mayor Jennifer Roberts said she was considering instituting a curfew to prevent further violence, but police said that would not be necessary because state police and the National Guard would be out in force.
“The events we saw last night are not the Charlotte I know and love,” Mrs Roberts said in a plea for peace.
Mr Trump said on Thursday that the violence in Charlotte was harming America’s image in the world.
“How can we lead when we can’t even control our own cities?” he asked, bemoaning the “hatred” on display during the demonstrations.