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Family Disputes Claims Man Who Police Killed Was Armed


We turn now to Charlotte, N.C.


UNIDENTIFIED PROTESTERS: Hands up. Don't shoot. Hands up...

GREENE: In that city, protests broke out last night - you're listening to some of the sound now - after a 43-year-old man was shot and killed yesterday afternoon. Police say he was armed with a gun, but family members are disputing that. Reporter Gwendolyn Glenn of member station WFAE has been covering the story through the night, and she joins us.

Gwendolyn, tell us first who was killed here and why.

GWENDOLYN GLENN, BYLINE: Well, we don't know a whole lot of the why. But in terms of who the victim was, it was a 43-year-old man named Keith Lamont Scott. And he was fatally shot at an apartment complex that's near the UNC-Charlotte campus.

And two stories are coming out, one from the family and one from the police. The police said they were in that complex to serve a warrant. We don't know if the warrant was on Keith Scott. They said they went to the complex, that they saw him with a gun in a car. At some point - we don't know what happened in between, but he was fatally shot by a police officer. They said they applied CPR, and he later died at a hospital.

GREENE: So one key question, though, is the police are saying he was armed and family members are saying that's not the case?

GLENN: The daughter of Keith Lamont Scott says that her father did not have a gun, that he was not armed and that he was sitting in the car reading a book waiting on his son to get off a bus from school. And that's the story that most of the protesters and the family is telling.

GREENE: Tell me about these protests. How angry are people?

GLENN: Well, they were pretty chaotic. I think that's a way to describe it because there were a couple of hundred or more people who were there. Police were firing many rounds of tear gas at the protesters at one point. I wasn't there at the very beginning, but those who were said it started out peaceful. But then it became very disruptive, and that's when the tear gas started.

And protesters were on their knees and shouting and saying black lives matter. And the police were lined up in riot gear with gas masks on. You had protesters who were picking up rocks and throwing them at the police cars. And, according to one police officer, there were about 15 officers who were injured during all of this. So it was a pretty chaotic scene.

GREENE: Has there been a tense relationship between police in Charlotte and the city's African-American community?

GLENN: I would say it has been tense. Last year, there was a trial of a white police officer who was on trial for fatally shooting an unarmed African-American man 10 times. That trial ended in a hung jury. And when that verdict came down, there were protests in the street immediately. And police and the protesters did not clash at that time, but the city was greatly divided after that particular verdict.

GREENE: OK. Speaking to reporter Gwendolyn Glenn who has been covering protests in the city of Charlotte, N.C. She's with member station WFAE.

Gwendolyn, thank you.

GLENN: Thank you. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Gwendolyn is an award-winning journalist who has covered a broad range of stories on the local and national levels. Her experience includes producing on-air reports for National Public Radio and she worked full-time as a producer for NPR’s All Things Considered news program for five years. She worked for several years as an on-air contract reporter for CNN in Atlanta and worked in print as a reporter for the Baltimore Sun Media Group, The Washington Post and covered Congress and various federal agencies for the Daily Environment Report and Real Estate Finance Today. Glenn has won awards for her reports from the Maryland-DC-Delaware Press Association, SNA and the first-place radio award from the National Association of Black Journalists.

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