At least 12 police officers were injured in Charlotte on Tuesday night as protests against a fatal police shooting turned violent. The injuries came after hundreds of demonstrators surrounded police who were working at the scene of Tuesday’s shooting at an apartment complex in Charlotte’s University City neighborhood. Hours earlier police fatally shot 43-year-old Keith Lamont Scott, a black man who family members said was unarmed and disabled—and mistaken for a suspect that officers were pursuing. Riot police were called out as the crowd grew, with multiple reports of water bottles thrown at officers as well as smashed windows and attempts to overturn law-enforcement vehicles. By 11 p.m., officers fired tear gas canisters at the crowd numerous times, and by 3 a.m. the northbound lanes of Interstate 85 were blocked by chanting protesters, blocking traffic for miles. CNN reports some protesters started fires in the center of the highway, and fueled the blazes with boxes taken from stalled tractor-trailers in the roadway. A nearby Walmart was hit by looters. Lines of riot police eventually forced the demonstrators from the interstate, which reopened near dawn on Wednesday. Charlotte Mayor Jennifer Roberts pleaded for calm and promised a full investigation into the Scott shooting. The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department posted on Twitter that a dozen of its officers had been hurt; the News & Observer reported seven needed to be hospitalized, including one who was hit in the face with a rock.
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