Demonstrators took to the streets for the second night on Wednesday to protest the police killing of 43-year-old Scott. While protests began peacefully, violence erupted after gunshots rang out and one individual was rushed to the hospital. At least four officers were also injured Wednesday night.
The city’s police initially reported that the gunshot victim had died, a victim of "civilian-on-civilian" crime, but that statement was later retracted. That person remained on life support on Thursday, only to pass away that evening, police said.
Witnesses also reported seeing someone shot by police, possibly at close range with a rubber bullet.
North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory declared a state of emergency shortly before midnight and the state’s National Guard arrived in Charlotte Thursday morning. Officials had considered implementing a curfew for Thursday night, but will avoid that tactic for the time being.
Police deployed tear gas to disperse crowds, and Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Chief Kerr Putney said that 44 individuals were arrested.
While the anger of protesters centers on the circumstances of Scott’s death, the latest example of police brutality, authorities have refused to release the video recording of the incident to the public.
"I’m not going to release the video right now," Putney said during a news conference on Thursday.
"The family made a request to see it and we’re looking to accommodate that request," he said, adding that the video "does not give me absolute, definitive visual evidence that will confirm a person was pointing a gun. I did not see that in the video."
Protesters hope the video could clarify conflicting reports about the incident. While police claim that Scott pointed a gun at officers, his family and witnesses report that Scott was reading a book in his car when he was shot.
Speaking to reporters on Thursday, representatives of North Carolina’s NAACP chapter addressed the violence, calling for understanding and calm.
"We are against violence. The looting and destruction in the streets must stop," Reverend William Barber said.
"There’s unrest in Charlotte because the law as it is written does not protect us from police violence," he added. "It’s somewhat hypocritical if you cry out about violence when you pass violent bills."
The state recently passed a law that prevents the release of videos recorded by police body or dashboard cameras, except in rare circumstances. The law will take effect next month.
The NC State Bureau of Investigation is looking into Scott’s death at the request of Mecklenburg County District Attorney Andrew Murray. The results will determine if charges will be filed against Brentley Vinson, the officer involved in the shooting.