Politics & Government

Keith Lamont Scott protests cost Charlotte taxpayers $4.6 million

Protesters confront Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officers at the intersection of Church Street on Saturday, September 24,2016. The city of Charlotte said Friday the protests cost taxpayers $4.6 million, mostly due to police overtime.
Protesters confront Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officers at the intersection of Church Street on Saturday, September 24,2016. The city of Charlotte said Friday the protests cost taxpayers $4.6 million, mostly due to police overtime. jsiner@charlotteobserver.com

Protests following the fatal police shooting of Keith Lamont Scott cost city taxpayers $4.6 million, mostly in police overtime, the city of Charlotte said Friday.

Included in that total cost was $122,000 in property damage to city-owned buildings like the NASCAR Hall of Fame and the Convention Center, as well as police equipment and vehicles. The Charlotte Area Transit System had $26,000 in property damage.

That total doesn’t include private property damage. Several uptown buildings had windows smashed and some stores were looted, mostly in around the EpiCentre entertainment complex on Trade Street.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police spent most of the money – at $3.9 million. Almost all of that was for overtime. CMPD also had $60,000 in property damage, which included the destruction of police cars.

The Fire Department spent $350,000 on overtime and other operating expenses.

The city said it doesn’t anticipate any of the expenses will be reimbursed by the state or federal government. The city said it will use reserves to cover the costs.

The $4.6 million covers a three-week period from Sept. 20 through Oct. 7.

Scott was shot and killed by police in the parking lot of an apartment complex near UNC Charlotte on the afternoon of Sept. 20. Protests started that night, and early in the morning of Sept. 21, protestors had shut down Interstate 85. Some police cars were damaged in the protests.

On the following day, there were protests uptown. The protest began peacefully, but then descended into violence that night. One protestor was shot and killed by another protestor, police said.

On Sept. 22, the National Guard and State Highway Patrol arrived to reinforce CMPD.

The City Council voted unanimously earlier this month on measures that it hopes it will restore trust with the community. It will hire an outside consultant, The Police Foundation, to review CMPD’s procedures. It has pledged to build 5,000 units of low-income housing in three years and to spend $1 million on a jobs program.

Steve Harrison: 704-358-5160, @Sharrison_Obs

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