RALEIGH — Governor Pat McCrory declared a State of Emergency on Wednesday at 11:00 p.m. upon the request of Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Chief Kerr Putney. The governor has also initiated efforts to deploy the North Carolina National Guard and the State Highway Patrol to assist local law enforcement.
“Upon a recent request of Chief Putney, the National Guard and State Highway Patrol are sending in resources to further help the Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department,” said Governor McCrory. “Any violence directed toward our citizens or police officers or destruction of property should not be tolerated. I support and commend the law enforcement officials for their bravery and courage during this difficult situation.”
The declaration allows the state to send the N.C. National Guard to Charlotte to provide support to the State Highway Patrol and local law enforcement as needed. Charlotte officials requested state assistance following two nights of violent riots.
First responders used rubber bullets, pepper spray, tear gas, and flash-bang grenades to subdue and disperse groups who were rioting, looting, and defacing and destroying property in Charlotte. Rioters have attempted to take the lives of at least two people — one news reporter who was reportedly grabbed by rioters and thrown into a fire but was rescued by police, and a fellow rioter who was shot in the head and is in critical condition.
Department of Public Safety Secretary Frank L. Perry will direct the State’s Emergency Operations Plan and deploy the State Emergency Response Team to assist Charlotte and Mecklenburg County officials in maintaining safety and security in the city.