Amid the ongoing police brutality protests in Charlotte, North Carolina, a protester was shot last night – and now we’re starting to get the full account of what actually happened.
The police officials had been claiming that the victim was shot by another demonstrator, but thanks to the account of a pastor who was a witness to the attack, that shot may actually have “came from the direction of police.” That pastor is Steve Knight, minister of Mission Gathering Christian Church in Charlotte, who said he was a mere ten feet away from the protester when the shot was fired.
In an interview with ThinkProgress, Knight said:
“I was in the crowd last night, I was very close to it when it happened. The strongest thing I can say is that it appeared to me that the shot came from the direction of the police.”
Knight also recalled that the crowd standing nearby the shooting had also been trying to dispute the police’s account of what had happened:
“The crowd certainly believed the shot came from the police—and that was my sense as well from where I was standing. I saw no one in the crowd last night who had a weapon.”
According to Knight, the shooting happened after a line of police officers took a group of peaceful, unarmed protesters into an underground parking garage. Once they were secluded, Knight said the cops attacked the protesters.
“It felt like an ambush. As soon as we were drawn in there by police, tear gas was dropped, police began striking protesters…that’s when the shooting occurred.”
Because the details of the event were so muddy, many were shocked that the police were so quick to note where the shot had come from. Knight said:
“It was a chaotic situation, and I find it hard to believe that the news media was told so quickly what happened,” he said. “I don’t think anyone could have known what had happened. We want a ballistics report to know where the shot came from. Our concern is that there isn’t going to be peace in Charlotte until people get answers to these questions.”
Currently, more accounts of the incident are being sought after, but Knight’s witnessing statements show us that there is far more to what happened to this protester.