12 police officers injured during riots in North Carolina
Twelve police officers were injured Tuesday night in a series of clashes, and reports were coming in early Wednesday of motorists on Interstate 85 being hurt and their vehicles damaged when protesters threw rocks, bottles and traffic cones off interstate overpasses onto traffic below.
At least seven of the police officers needed to be hospitalized after the clashes, including one who was hit in the face with a rock.
Mayor Jennifer Roberts sent out a message on Twitter early Wednesday, noting: “I will continue to work with our manager and (police) chief...We are reaching out to community to ask for calm.”
Council member Julie Eiselt, who chairs the council's public safety committee, said she understands police are reviewing whether there is dash cam or body camera footage. She said CMPD will address at the 9:30 a.m. news conference.
In addition to Interstate 85, protesters attacked and looted the Walmart on North Tryon Street at about 3:30 a.m. The store was closed early Wednesday, with wooden pallets piled in front of the doors and shopping carts blocking the driveway into the lot.
Three or more tractor trailer trucks were stopped and looted on Interstate 85, and at least two fires were started on the interstate, as the protesters burned items taken from the trucks.
Motorists were reportedly stuck on Interstate 85 for hours at the height of the protests, which ignited at a time when the nation has seen a spate of police shootings of black men, which has led to protests from Ferguson, Mo., to Tulsa to Chicago and started the Black Lives Matter movement.
Police have not released details on how many people were arrested, but some media outlets were reporting five people were taken into custody. The neighborhood where the incident occurred was quiet Wednesday, aside from a large media presence.