Panthers-Vikings NFL game declared “Extraordinary Event” amid unrest

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – The city of Charlotte is on high alert after several nights of unrest related to the police shooting of Keith Lamont Scott.

On Sunday, Interim City Manager Ron Kimble declared the Carolina Panthers and Minnesota Vikings game at Bank of America Stadium “an Extraordinary Event,” allowing for greater police control.

New developments in fatal Charlotte police shooting

The designation also allows police more latitude to stop and search people within an area for several blocks in all directions from Bank of America Stadium and prevent protesters from gathering en masse.

Officials were worried about protesters disrupting fans or the game.

The fears were not totally founded, however, as a group of around 100 demonstrators gathered across the street from Bank of America Stadium to protest the Scott shooting.

The protesters, holding signs and led by a man on a bullhorn, were surrounded by at least two dozen police officers on bicycles on Sunday afternoon.

Their message competed with the noise of fans streaming toward the stadium and an impromptu jazz band playing tunes less than a block away.

Inside the stadium, people attending the game watched the protesters from access ramps to the upper level.

Protests in Charlotte remained peaceful for Saturday night as well after the release of police video of Scott’s shooting death at the hands of officers. Earlier in the week, the protests became violent, and one person was killed during them.

Hundreds of people walked through the city’s downtown streets on Saturday night, as they have for the past few nights. There have been marches each night since Keith Lamont Scott was shot to death Tuesday by police. One man was shot and later died in rioting that broke out on Wednesday night, but the nights since have been more peaceful.

A midnight to 6 a.m. curfew has been in effect since Thursday, and National Guardsmen have been stationed throughout downtown each night. Four people were arrested Saturday night on charges ranging from curfew violation to impeding traffic and possession of a homemade weapon.

Chief Kerr Putney said the latest video and other evidence they were releasing would corroborate their account of how things unfolded, including that Keith Lamont Scott was holding a gun when he was shot. However, earlier in the week, even Putney acknowledged that “the video does not give me absolute, definitive visual evidence that would confirm that a person is pointing a gun.”

He addressed reporters Saturday afternoon, hours after several hundred demonstrators took to the street for a fifth day and marched around downtown Charlotte.

Putney said that he decided to release the footage after receiving assurances from the State Bureau of Investigation that it would not impact their independent probe of the shooting.

Asked whether he expected the footage to quiet protesters, Putney responded: “The footage itself will not create in anyone’s mind as to what this case represents... the footage only supports the other information” such as forensic evidence and witness statements.

He also said that his officers didn’t break the law but noted that the State Bureau of Investigation is continuing its investigation.