CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - What was organized as a peaceful demonstration turned violent Friday night.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department says that rioters threw rocks and explosives at officers.
Rioters also damaged police property and community businesses.
Two officers were treated for injuries and were released from the hospital. Another officer suffered serious injuries.
Police also confirmed that 15 people were arrested, including Charlotte Council member Braxton Winston.
“The community’s voice is important to the CMPD and we will always work to safeguard and facilitate peaceful and lawful protests that do not injure our officers, threaten the safety of the community they serve and lead to the destruction of property,” CMPD said in a statement.
Police say a city council member was among several people arrested as hundreds gathered in Charlotte Friday to protest the death of George Floyd, the man who died in police custody in Minnesota.
About 250 protesters gathered outside of the Beatties Ford CMPD precinct. Charlotte police were standing guard at the front of the building. CMPD said their Civil Emergency Unit was deployed and declared the gathering an unlawful assembly.
Police tweeted that several protesters started to throw rocks and objects at officers as they continued to facilitate protesters’ right to demonstrate. Police also tweeted that several protesters had damaged police cruisers and continued to throw rocks at officers and the Metro Division office.
“Our top priority is to keep the community safe, and we encourage the peaceful expression of every viewpoint, so all interactions are constructive,” police said in a statement.
Charlotte police told a WBTV reporter that protesters looted the Food Lion on Beatties Ford Road. Police say they smashed windows using bricks and were inside for about 15 minutes. This grocery store is about 0.5 miles from the police station
CMPD Police Chief Kerr Putney confirmed Charlotte City Council member at-large Braxton Winston was arrested during the protest for failure to disperse. Winston was seen in the area during the protest, speaking with both police and protesters.