CHARLOTTE – The U.S. Justice Department sent four officials to Charlotte Thursday to assist in the investigation of the officer-shooting-death of Keith Lamont Scott. His death touched off days of rioting in Charlotte that forced the governor to declare a state of emergency, and send in rifle-carry National Guard troops.
The scene was quieter Thursday night after Mayor Jennifer Roberts imposed a midnight curfew, and the streets were guarded by troops and police officers.
The Department of Justice sent four members of its Community Relations Service to Charlotte. Attorney General Loretta Lynch said she was prepared to have the FBI assist, if needed.
“To the people of the great state, the beautiful state, my home state of North Carolina: I know these are difficult times,” Lynch said. “I know that the events of recent days are painfully unclear and call out for answers. But I also know that the answer will not be found in the violence of recent days. Let us all seek a peaceful way forward. I know that most of the demonstrators gathered to exercise their constitutional right to peaceful protest in order to raise issues and create change. We need your voice. We need your passion. We need your commitment. But I urge those responsible for the violence to stop. You are drowning out the voices of commitment and change and ushering in more tragedy and grief in our communities.”
Lynch, who is black, added: “The tragic incidents in Charlotte and in Tulsa, Oklahoma, earlier this week once again underscored the divisions that persist between law enforcement officers and communities of color. One of my top priorities as Attorney General has been to do everything in my power to help heal those divides, and the Department of Justice will continue working tirelessly to protect the rights of all Americans; to give law enforcement the resources they need to do their jobs safely and fairly; to open dialogue and promote reconciliation; and to reduce violence of all kind in this country.”
Scott’s family was shown the video of the shooting death, and demanded that the police release the video to the public. Demonstrators chanted “release the tape” Thursday night.