At least nine people were injured and 44 people were arrested during a second night of violent protests in Charlotte, North Carolina, the city’s police chief said on Thursday, following the fatal police shooting of a black man.
One man remained in critical condition after being shot late Wednesday, said Kerr Putney, the chief of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg police. Police used tear gas, rubber bullets and flash-bang grenades to disperse demonstrators who looted stores and threw rocks, bottles and fireworks.
Officials initially said that the Wednesday victim was shot by a civilian, but on Thursday Putney acknowledged some claims he was shot by a law enforcement officer.
“We’re here to seek the truth, so we’re investigating that to find the truth, the absolute truth as best as the evidence can show us,” Putney said.
Four police officers suffered non-life threatening injuries, city officials said.
The latest trouble erupted after a peaceful rally earlier in the evening by protesters who reject the official account of how Keith Scott, 43, was gunned down by a black police officer in the parking lot of an apartment complex on Tuesday afternoon.
The killing was the latest in a long series of controversial fatal police shootings of black men across the United States, sparking more than two years of protests asserting racial bias and excessive force by police and giving rise to the Black Lives Matter movement.
Scott’s killing marked the 214th incident of a black person by police this year, according to Mapping Police Violence, an anti-police violence group created out of the protest movement. There is no national-level government data on police shootings.
Authorities say Scott was wielding a handgun and was shot after refusing commands to drop it. His family and a witness say he was holding a book, not a firearm, when he was killed.
The Kaduna State Police Command has cancelled all forms of social gathering at public places such as recreation centres and amusement parks during the Eid-el Fitr celebrations in the state.
This followed a security alert by the state security outfit, code-named ‘Operation Yaki’, that the state might be attacked on Sallah day by terror group, known as ‘Surasuka’ or ‘Masushara’.
The State Commissioner of Police, Mr Umar Shehu, announced this in a statement he issued to journalists on Thursday.
He said that places for fun seekers such as the Gamji Gate Amusement Park, Galaxy Park and others would be closed down during the celebration.
He also disclosed that the State Police Command had deployed both conventional and mobile policemen, as well as undercover operatives to man and monitor vulnerable points, with a view to ensuring tight security across the state.
Mr Shehu warned residents against accommodating or harboring strange fellows, as the Boko Haram terror group had changed their tactics of attacks.
The Police Commissioner urged parents and guardians to be vigilant, monitor and warn their children and not allow them to be used by mischief makers.
He reiterated that the ban on commercial motorcycles popularly called ‘okada’, as well as street begging and hawking were still in force, all in the bid to ensure that Kaduna residents have a crime and violence free Eid-El Fitr celebration.
Similarly, the Emir of Zazzau, who is also the Chairman of Kaduna State Council of Traditional Rulers, Alhaji Shehu Idris, has cancelled the traditional Durbar that usually takes place during the Sallah, citing insecurity as reason for the cancellation.
The Former Head of Service of the Federation, Mr Steve Oronsaye, is to appear before Justice Gabriel Kolawole of the Federal High Court Abuja, to answer charges of corruption, bordering on 1.2 billion Naira fraud.
Mr Orosaye on Thursday returned to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission’s custody ahead of Monday’s arraignment.
He had earlier been arrested on Wednesday by the anti-graft agency but granted an administrative bail after several hours of questioning.
He was thereafter asked to return the following day to be formally charged to court.
The former top civil servant was appointed the Head of Service of the Federation in 2009 and is alleged to have been involved in bogus contract award between 2009 and 2010
Nigerians particularly southerners living in Kaduna State and other parts of the north are migrating to their villages in anticipation of post election violence.
This is despite the pleas by Igbo leaders and Ohanaeze Ndigbo to Igbos in other parts of the country, especially the North, to vote where they live.
Channels Television visited some motor parks in the state capital, reported that many families prefer to travel to their home towns ahead of the election, in anticipation of election violence.
Some of those interviewed, gave reasons for their traveling to fear of an outbreak of election violence, as witnessed in 2011, while others claimed they are traveling ahead of the Easter Celebration.
Some of the passengers who were seen at the motor park said, they would stay until after the elections before returning to the North, adding that they abandoned their businesses for fear of crisis.
Commuters are traveling along with mattresses and other household items, signalling that they may likely stay for quite some time before returning to their bases.
In 2011, many people in the state were killed including non indigenes during the post election violence in Northern Nigeria.
While assuring residents of adequate security during the general elections, the Kaduna state commissioner of Police, Umar Shehu, called on people not to panic. The Commissioner said that the fear is unfounded, noting that such movement will only be necessary if they were going home to cast their votes in the elections.
Mr. Shehu, also warned of a restriction order starting from Thursday evening, adding that all exit and entry points into the state will be blocked by security agencies ahead of the election.
The Kaduna state chapter of the All Progressive Congress (APC) has however faulted the Police commissioner’s restriction of movement order, saying that it is illegal and unconstitutional to bar people from moving around freely more than 48 hours to the election.
Meanwhile, the Kaduna state office of the Independent National Electoral Commission(INEC) has received all non-sensitive and sensitive materials in preparation for the election. The materials were brought to the state amidst tight security.
The state Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Mr Husseni Mahuta who briefed journalists in his office, said adequate arrangement has been put in place to ensure a hitch free election, while it is still distributing Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) that are already in its custody.
Nigerians calling for the rescue of the schoolgirls abducted in Chibok, Borno State have rescheduled their visit to the Presidential Villa to Thursday, for a wider participation.
Speaking with Channels Television after one of their daily meetings in Abuja, a member of the group, Hadiza Usman, said that the aim of the protest to the Presidential Villa was to find out what the Federal Government was doing to rescue the girls.
“We have written a letter to Mr. President, we are hopeful that he will grant us audience because we believe as citizens, our president should listen to us when we ask for audience.
“We are waiting for his response, if he fails to respond, we intend to go to the Presidential Villa and demand that we see our President, our demand is to bring back our girls now and alive,” she said.
She added that the group remained resolute in mounting pressure on those in authority to ensure the release of the girls.