On the second night of demonstrations following the police killing of an African-American man, Keith Lamont Scott, in Charlotte, one of the peaceful demonstrators was gunned down in cold blood. The City of Charlotte quickly announced that he was killed by "civilian on civilian" gunfire. As it turns out, the man wasn't killed, he was in critical condition on life support at air time (AP has now since reported he has died), and several ministers who were witnesses to the shooting, including the Charlotte Clergy Coalition for Justice, believe that it may have been carried out by police, not by a civilian.
"I saw the man go down on the pavement," said Minister Steve Knight of Missiongathering Christian Church in Charlotte, according to a statement released last night by the Coalition. "It was an ambush. The victim was shot while he stood between two ministers, and 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 deadly shooting."
As the Charlotte-Mecklenberg Police Dept. — which currently refuse to release video from the first shooting — say they are reviewing tapes of the Wednesday night shooting, one of the witnesses, Linda Flynn, Executive Director of the Charlotte Spirituality Center, joins us to explain what she saw from just "feet away" from where victim was gunned down.
"I was about ten feet away from the gentleman who was shot. We heard a loud bang, it sounded like a gun shot, nobody knew where it was coming from, and we saw the man go down…Of course there was a pool of blood there. People who were directly next to the gentleman started vomiting because they had such a graphic view of everything."
Flynn goes on to say it's "unclear" whether or not he was shot by police or not, but adds: "I think at this point even the police have understood that it is completely unclear as to how the shooting happened. There are questions there. It would be very normal for all of us to have some suspicion because we're not receiving transparency. That's what we're calling for. But I do firmly believe, as a person of faith in this community, that it was a peaceful protest until police decided not to make it not so. And that is our concern."
She argues that it was the ramped-up militarized police presence that sparked violence during Wednesday night's demonstrations and explains her concerns about the history of race relations with the police in Charlotte, where she says it now looks like a "war zone", and we also discuss her concerns about "seeing shooting after shooting after shooting" nationwide.
Also today: Even Donald Trump says he is "very troubled" by video of the police shooting of Terrence Crutcher, an unarmed African-American man seen with his hands up in in Tulsa, OK, as he was gunned down, but his Veep candidate Mike Pence thinks there's just too much talk of "institutional racism". A Trump campaign official from Ohio insists she doesn't believe racism existed at all, until Barack Obama was elected President. (Seriously.) Then, new polling from Fox finds Trump's lead over Hillary Clinton growing in three key swing states (along with disturbing Democratic denial). And, finally, a huge gasoline pipeline is reopened in Alabama, following a massive spill. We take a look at the Colonial Pipeline company's dreadful history of both spills and cleanups across the country.
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