I am all opposed to senseless killings, including those perpetrated by police officers. I’m also opposed to staged protests, especially when provocateurs come in to “protest” something that is not even happening in their community. It’s not being reported that 70% of the people arrested in connection with the protests in Charlotte, North Carolina following the fatal police shooting of Keith Lamont Scott.
CNN’s Erin Burnett tweeted the following on Thursday:
Charlotte police sergeant tells me 70% of ppl arrested last night had out of state ID: "these are not protestors, these are criminals"
— Erin Burnett (@ErinBurnett) September 22, 2016
Following the governor declaring a state of emergency, Burnett provided the tweet.
While many out-of-state protesters surely believed in furthering the message that America rejects police brutality, it is worth noting that the police sergeant made a distinction between those who were arrested and the real protesters who are specifically going out to represent and defend their city.
The protests began after Scott was shot. A video of what led up to the shooting can be seen here.
Provocateurs are nothing new. When the riots erupted in Ferguson over another shooting, one young man produced a video warning that people were being paid to be provocateurs by government. Take a look.
I don’t doubt for one second that there are legitimate protesters who believe the shooting was wrong. However, I think the precedent has been set that there are a plethora of provocateurs that get bussed in from areas outside in order to stir up more trouble. Now, it’s in my backyard.