Justin LaFrancois Speaks Out Day After Uptown Video He Recorded Of CMPD Sparks Outrage

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Video recorded by Queen City Nerve publisher Justin LaFrancois Tuesday night in Uptown Charlotte sparking swift and immediate outrage from elected leaders and the community. LaFrancois narrated what happened, saying, “They’ve got everybody trapped here,” and “We’re trapped here. We’re trapped. They’re shooting pepper balls at us. They’ll throw out tear gas. Flash bangs. Smoke,” and “They’re up top, shooting at us.

LaFrancois spoke with WCCB News @ Ten anchor Morgan Fogarty Wednesday morning about the previous night’s events. He says, “The entire corridor of Fourth Street between College and Tryon became a gas chamber essentially.”

LaFrancois has been embedded with protesters since Friday, live streaming each day and night’s events. Tuesday night, LaFrancois says around 500 people were marching, when he says officers in riot gear trapped them. “You couldn’t go forward, you couldn’t go backward,” he says.

He says police threw multiple tear gas canisters into the crowd, and, “There were either 3 or 4 officers in riot gear from the second floor of the parking structure that was adjacent to us and were shooting down on the crowd from an elevated position with pepper balls.”

LaFrancois says this video that he took Wednesday, “Look at the trajectory. Look how the trajectory goes down.”

LaFrancois says he and about 100 protesters, and even a dog, slid under a parking deck gate to get out of the line of fire. He says eventually, the officers entered the deck, too. “They entered the parking structure and just started shooting the guy with the dog in the video, because he wasn’t leaving fast enough.” LaFrancois says he went home three hours later. He says, “I didn’t feel safe again for…I didn’t feel safe again.”

LaFrancois says he is going to consult with a civil rights attorney. Also Tuesday, the Fraternal Order of Police in Mecklenburg County says it supports CMPD’s actions. The FOP also said Wednesday that Charlotte City Councilman Braxton Winston “continues to disrespect his position by standing alongside those criminals trying to burn down the city.”