A protester in North Carolina was arrested with an AR-style rifle with two 30-round magazines — as cops used “chemical agents” in a shocking confrontation decried by local politicians.
Disturbing live video from a reporter with Queen City Nerve shows protesters marching through Charlotte Tuesday with their hands in the air chanting “Don’t shoot” — before a series of flash bangs left everyone scrambling and screaming.
However, they appeared to be penned in from all sides by riot police as smoke from tear gas enveloped the air around them, with the narrator saying pellets were also being fired from a car park to the side.
“It went bad really fast,” Charlotte Mayor Vi Lyles admitted on Kiss 95.1 Wednesday, calling it “a horrible incident.”
State Rep. Chaz Beasley, a lawyer, tweeted that he was “absolutely FURIOUS” with police, saying, “This video shows [police] firing upon peaceful protestors with tear gas, flash bangs, and pepper balls from THREE sides.
“I refuse to stand for my constituents being attacked like this,” he said.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg police said it only acted after officers were “assaulted with bottles, rocks, and chemical agents” and gave “multiple avenues to leave the area.”
“After refusal to leave, chemical agents were deployed to protect officers and the public,” the force claimed.
Moments later, it tweeted, “A protestor was just arrested with an AR Rifle with two 30-round magazines.”
The department’s justification for its heavy-handed attack sparked outrage, with many suggesting the video proved it was unjustified.
“As a former Army Ranger, that was a classic ambush,” Jason Baker insisted.
“Funneled them into the kill zone, had snipers above, cut off exfil lanes with tear gas and raining down the pain on folks who were just marching with no warning.”
Another person tweeted that all police did “was ambush the protesters by setting up a funnel into a kill box,” saying the department was “treating protesters like militant enemies of the US.”
Evan Kent also insisted he did not hear any dispersal orders. “The crowd was peaceful until you fired tear gas and pellets,” he tweeted. “You trapped 600 people with no exit and fired on us for no reason, with no way to leave.”
The department later said it was “internally reviewing” the response to “ensure policy and protocol were followed.”