Elected Leaders React to Viral Video Of Charlotte Protesters Trapped and Gassed
CHARLOTTE, NC- The North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation is looking into how the Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department handled protesters on Tuesday night.
“Just looking at the video, It looked really bad,” said State Sen. Jeff Jackson.
Jackson wanted answers and information almost immediately when he saw the now viral video.
“I think anyone who watches that video is probably going to have an immediate level of concern about what they saw,” said Jackson.
On Tuesday around 9:30 p.m, protesters were making their way down 4th street and were boxed in. They were hit with tear gas, flash bangs and pepper bullets. CMPD says there was violence that triggered the response.
“They appeared to have been given no way out. It looked like they were getting it sort of from three sides,” said Jackson.
He says other members of the Mecklenburg delegation also take issue with the video and say it needs to be investigated.
State Rep. Chaz Beasley tweeted last night that he was furious with what he saw writing, “I refuse to stand for my constituents being attacked like this.”
“We want to show the full story. So people can then decide for themselves and see for themselves when things go from lawful protest. To violent riots,” said CMPD Chief Kerr Putney about the incident.
Charlotte City Council member Tariq Bokhari mentioned in a tweet that he questioned what may have happened on the front lines.
“Last night was one of those times that none of us can be proud of,” said Charlotte Mayor Vi Lyles, “that we wouldn’t want to see happen in our city, but it did.”
Lyles today called for more conversation and review of police tactics. City Manager Marcus Jones has asked the State Bureau of Investigation to look into the handling of protesters.
“A review of our policies as they relate to our policing and our procedures.,” said Jones.
And while he vowed a change if something improper is found, Jackson says a closer look at how protests are policed needs to happen.
“They’ve [CMPD] made a tactical decision that at about 11 o’clock, were just going to move in and shut everything down,” said Jackson, “that’s something we need to have a conversation about.”