Late on Wednesday, demonstrators took to Interstate-85 in Charlotte, North Carolina. About 12 officers were injured and several squad cars were damaged when protests exploded after an African-American man was shot and killed by an officer.

Looting and general violence broke out in Charlotte, and police began using tear gas and flash bangs to disperse demonstrators, which they noted had been joined by “agitators”.

Charlotte Mayor Jennifer Roberts asked for calm among the chaos.

Charlotte

The protest comes in the wake of the police shooting and subsequent death of 43-year-old Lamont Scott. Officers had been searching for a suspect with an outstanding warrant on Tuesday afternoon when they saw a person, who was not the suspect in question, inside a vehicle at The Village at College Downs apartment complex.

Scott exited the vehicle with a firearm twice, and officers considered him “an imminent deadly threat to the officers who subsequently fired their weapon striking the subject,” officials said. No officers were harmed in the incident, and detectives did recover a firearm from the scene.

The fatal shot came from Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officer Brentley Vinson. Both Scott and Vinson are African-American.

A group of about 100 people gathered at night fall, and chanted in protest of the shooting.

“People get upset when we say ‘black lives matter, black lives matter,’” said a student. “But these are the people we have to focus on the most because these types of situations always happen.”

Following numerous shootings between law enforcement officials and African-American citizens, racial tensions are steadily growing in the United States. While some protestors engaged in looting vehicles on the held-up highway and attempted to loot local stores, many were gathered only to make a demonstration.

With the shooting of Lamont Scott adding to the fire, it is certain that tensions will grow even higher.

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