Protests in downtown Charlotte, North Carolina over the death of Keith Lamont Scott at the hands of police turned violent this evening, with several businesses including the NASCAR Hall of Fame reportedly being looted in the process. Scott was a father of seven who was shot and killed in a confrontation with officers on Tuesday. [Update: Looters failed to make it inside; see below.]
Charlotte Observer reporter Katie Peralta took this shot of the NASCAR Hall of Fame with a signpost thrown through one window after tweeting that it, the Westin and a Buffalo Wild Wings had been looted.
NASCAR Plaza, which houses both the Hall of Fame as well as the Charlotte Observer’s offices, remains in lockdown until further notice.
Jalopnik’s Justin Westbrook, who lives in Charlotte, reported the scene live on Periscope for our sister site Deadspin. One protester was shot and taken to the hospital with life-threatening injuries. Police deployed tear gas and shot powder-filled paintballs in confrontations with demonstrators.
North Carolina governor Pat McCrory declared a state of emergency in response to the clashes between protesters and police tonight, per Deadspin’s latest reports.
UPDATE [9/22, 11:21 a.m.]: Looters failed to make it inside the NASCAR Hall of Fame itself, per the Charlotte Observer:
On Thursday morning, a street sign hung like a spear from the front window of the hall’s news center, after vandals tried prying out one of the front windows. Windows in the lobby of the adjacent NASCAR Tower were busted out, as were windows at nearby restaurants and two hotels.
The looters apparently failed to get into the Hall of Fame and its exhibits, though there are reports of confrontations with a half a dozen looters inside the Buffalo Wild Wings restaurant at one corner of the hall building.
The adjacent Buffalo Wild Wings, however, was heavily damaged inside by bottles that were reportedly thrown off tables.
Despite the damage, the NASCAR Hall of Fame is open today:
44 were arrested and nine were injured in last night’s unrest, according to Charlotte Observer reporter Justine Miller.
UPDATE [9/22, 11:30 a.m.]: Jalopnik received the following statement from Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority Director of Communications Laura White:
CRVA Statement Regarding Venue Damage and Events
The events that have transpired over the last 48 hours have been incredibly difficult for our community. We continue to keep open lines of communication with the City, CMPD and our partners to monitor the latest developments. The damage at our CRVA venues consists of broken exterior windows at the Charlotte Convention Center and NASCAR Hall of Fame and a breach that took place at one of our tenant spaces at the NASCAR Hall of Fame, Buffalo Wild Wings.
We do have events scheduled to take place in the Charlotte Convention Center and NASCAR Hall of Fame today and in the coming days. The safety of these meeting attendees who have traveled significant distances to convene in Charlotte is especially important to us and we’re working to take appropriate security precautions in collaboration with our partners at CMPD. We’ll continue to assess and communicate with our partners throughout the day.
The CRVA operates the NASCAR Hall of Fame.