The turmoil that erupted in Charlotte, North Carolina, after a fatal confrontation between a police officer and a citizen on September 20 is subsiding. Charlotte Local 660 members report that several objects were thrown at their fire apparatus at the unrest’s peak, but no fire fighters were injured.
“The IAFF is extremely proud of the professionalism and dedication to duty our Charlotte members have shown throughout this dangerous situation,” says General President Harold Schaitberger. “On behalf of the entire membership, this International wishes them continued safety.”
“Emergency response during this period of unrest has been more stressful than usual,” says Tom Brewer, president of the Professional Fire Fighters Association of North Carolina and Charlotte Local 660. “But we have been able to continue to serve and protect our citizens safely and effectively.”
On the day of the shooting, police were in Keith Scott’s neighborhood serving a warrant on another person when police said they saw Scott hold a gun up, which eventually led to the officer shooting and killing him. Scott’s friends and family say he was unarmed.
After the city experienced two nights of civil unrest over the incident, the governor declared a state of emergency and the city imposed a midnight curfew. But, the violence has reduced and the city has since lifted the curfew.
Still, Local 660 members are being asked to continue to maintain higher staffing levels for now. “Our top priority is the safety of Charlotte citizens,” says Brewer.