A man who was shot during protests in Charlotte, North Carolina has died. The victim was 26-year-old Justin Carr, CNN reported.
It comes as the family of Keith Lamont Scott, who was shot dead by police on Tuesday, watched two police videos of his shooting.
A lawyer representing the family said it was impossible to tell from the footage what Mr Scott had in his hands at the time.
Hundreds of National Guard troops and police reinforcements have converged on Charlotte, mobilised to prevent a third night of violent protests over the shooting of Mr Scott, a 43-year-old African American.
The tense southern city was under a state of emergency amid growing complaints that the authorities had been slow to respond to protesting crowds.
Mr Carr was shot and and 44 people were arrested as the protests swept through downtown Charlotte late Wednesday and early Thursday, triggered by the latest in a string of police-involved killings of black men that have fueled outrage across the United States.
Nine protesters and two officers were hurt as clashes broke out with riot police firing tear gas, shutting down a transport hub in the city, officials said.
North Carolina’s governor declared a state of emergency in Charlotte, activating the National Guard and state highway police to reinforce the city’s police force.
President Barack Obama spoke with Governor Pat McCrory for an update on the situation, the White House said.
“The president believes strongly in the right of individuals to protest,” White House spokesman Josh Earnest said.
“It is also important that people do not use public protest as an excuse to engage in violence or vandalism.”
Several hundred National Guard troops and highway police officers have been deployed to protect city infrastructure and businesses, Charlotte police chief Kerr Putney said.
“We are going to be a lot more proactive,” he told a news conference. “We made 44 arrests last night because we are not going to tolerate the behavior.”
Mayor Jennifer Roberts said earlier that a curfew was under consideration, but Putney said he did not intend to impose one unless “we need to clear the streets sooner.”
– Shooting video –
Scott was shot and killed in an apartment complex parking lot on Tuesday during an encounter with police officers searching for another person wanted for arrest.
Conflicting versions of what happened — police say Scott was armed with a handgun while his family says he was holding a book, not a gun — fueled the angry protests.
The authorities have resisted calls to release police video of the incident, saying it would harm the investigation’s integrity.
However, members of Scott’s family were set to watch the video on Thursday afternoon, a lawyer for the family said.
“It seems as though every which way you look, there is a witness who says I saw this, there is a witness who says I saw that,” the lawyer, Justin Bamberg, told reporters. “This community deserves answers.”
Putney said on Tuesday that the footage “does not give me absolute definitive visual evidence that would confirm that a person is pointing a gun.”
The police chief had said previously that a handgun was recovered at the scene, and that no book was found, contrary to the family’s assertion.
– Protesters ‘seething’ –
Although Wednesday night’s protest started with a peaceful vigil for Scott, the atmosphere changed dramatically when demonstrators marched to the nearby police headquarters and a protester pulled the American flag to the bottom of its flagpole.
By the time the protesters walked the few blocks to uptown and encountered riot police standing like statues on Trade Street, the marchers were seething.
Some demonstrators stood on cars and hurled rocks and bottles at police, who responded by firing tear gas, which sent the crowd scattering.
Roberts said she was “working to calm things down.”
“We have great folks in our community who really want this to be peaceful and want us to have constructive dialogue to move our city forward,” she said on ABC’s “Good Morning America.”
The troubles in Charlotte reverberated on the US presidential campaign trail, with Republican candidate Donald Trump suggesting that drug use in the inner city was somehow responsible.
“And if you’re not aware, drugs are a very, very big factor in what you’re watching on television at night,” he said during a speech in Pittsburgh.
Clinton weighed in ahead of Wednesday’s protest, which came on the heels of another fatal police shooting of a black man, Terence Crutcher, on Friday in Tulsa.
“Keith Lamont Scott. Terence Crutcher. Too many others. This has got to end. -H,” the Democrat tweeted.