US & Canada

Charlotte police: Keith Scott was warned to drop gun

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Media captionCharlotte police say shot man posed threat

North Carolina officers repeatedly warned an armed man to drop his gun before fatally shooting him, a police chief said after a night of protests.

Keith Lamont Scott left his car with a handgun when officers opened fire, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Chief Kerr Putney said during a news conference.

Mr Scott, a 43-year-old black man, was shot by a black officer and died at the Carolinas Medical Center.

His death sparked violent protests overnight, leaving 16 officers injured.

Chief Putney said Mr Scott first got out of the car with a gun and got back in when officers directed him to drop his weapon.

As he got out again, he said, officers shot him.

"It's time to change the narrative, because I can tell you from the facts that the story's a little bit different as to how it's been portrayed so far, especially through social media," he said.

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Media captionPolice cars attacked in Charlotte protests

Chief Putney added that officers did not find a book at the scene, contradicting claims by Mr Scott's family that he was reading a book in his car when he was shot.

He added while it was evident Mr Scott was armed, it was unclear whether he was pointing the weapon at officers.

Officer Brentley Vinson, who has been with the force for two years, has been placed on administrative leave over the incident.

Charlotte police were looking for a different suspect to serve a warrant at a block of flats when Mr Scott was killed, police spokesman Keith Trietley said.

When police saw Mr Scott leave the car with a gun, they deemed him as a threat and opened fire.

He died later in hospital.

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Media captionCharlotte pastors urge black boycott

At a subsequent news conference of black leaders, a Nation of Islam leader called for an economic boycott of Charlotte.

BJ Murphy said: "We don't got nothing to lose."

Mayor Jennifer Roberts, meanwhile, called for calm after protests convulsed the city overnight.

Police used tear gas on dozens of protesters and arrested one in the unrest, which shut down part of Interstate 85.

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Image caption Police say protesters appeared to loot semi-trucks on Interstate 85 and set their contents on fire

Following the shooting, a woman who claimed to be Mr Scott's daughter posted a video to Facebook saying her father was unarmed and had a disability, the Charlotte Observer reports.

She claimed Mr Scott was unarmed and reading while he was waiting for his son's school bus and was struck with a stun gun before being shot four times.

Police have not responded to her claims and her account could not be immediately verified.

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Image caption Police face off with protesters after Scott was shot in a car park outside a block of flats

The protests came a day after police in the city of Tulsa, in Oklahoma, said a black man they had killed on Friday was unarmed.

The North Carolina and Oklahoma incidents are the latest in a string of police shootings that has gripped the US and led to mounting racial tensions across the country.

Mr Scott's family plans to hold a news conference later on Wednesday in the area where he was shot.