Charlotte businesses warned after 16 officers hurt and Walmart damaged in protests

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) — The Charlotte Chamber of Commerce is warning businesses in parts of town to be cautious as more protests are expected Wednesday night following the fatal police shooting of 43-year-old Keith Lamont Scott.

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“We had a series of events Tuesday evening that included the loss of a life, injuries to police officers and others, and peaceful demonstrations that became unlawful,” the Charlotte Chamber wrote in a public safety message. “We are concerned that there may be similar protests tonight and beyond in our City.”

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The Chamber’s message continued, “We must prepare for this potential as ‘one Charlotte’ by standing together in a way that demonstrates our support of peaceful protests, while also ensuring the safety of law enforcement officers and all citizens.”

Officials warned businesses in the University City area – where Scott was shot and protests began Tuesday – and uptown Charlotte.

“If you are planning any major events between now and the end of the weekend, please make us aware so we can ensure CMPD and other stakeholders stay informed,” the message stated.

The Charlotte Chamber offered several tips for businesses to protect themselves should protesters become unruly:

Keep everything as normal as possible
Remove or chain down all tables, chairs, signs or planters
Consider increasing private security staffing
Tell tenants, employees and guests to be aware and vigilant
Do not hesitate to call 911

Scott was shot and killed around 4 p.m. Tuesday at The Village at College Downs apartment complex on Old Concord Road in northeast Charlotte. After the shooting, a large crowd gathered near the scene in protest, sparking clashes with police and tear gas being deployed.

Police vehicles were damaged, rocks were thrown and gas was deployed.

CMPD Chief Kerr Putney said the protesters broke into the back of a tractor-trailer on I-85 and started setting items on fire. Protesters also visited a Walmart on N. Tryon Street, breaking glass doors at the entrance.

A total of 16 officers suffered injuries in the events, Putney said Wednesday. CMPD said several arrests were made overnight, but the number was kept to under five people.

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