‘I didn’t quote facts’: Charlotte police official walks back statement on protesters

A representative for Charlotte, North Carolina’s Fraternal Order of Police said he “didn’t quote facts” Friday when he stated the majority of protesters arrested in this week’s demonstrations were from out of state, The Charlotte Observer reported.

“If you go back and look at some of the arrests that were made [late Wednesday into Thursday], I can about say probably 70 per cent of those had out-of-state IDs,” Todd Walther, the spokesman for the police organisation, told CNN in an interview on Thursday.

In the interview, he referred to protesters as “instigators that are coming in from the outside.”

An independent analysis from the Observer found that 79 per cent of the protesters arrested were in fact Charlotte residents. The rest lived in other parts of North Carolina such as Albemarle, Gastonia and Greensboro.

On Friday, Wather admitted his comments were inaccurate and merely based on speculation.

“I didn’t quote facts,” Walther, told the Observer on Friday. “It’s speculation. That’s all it was.”

During demonstrations on Wednesday in response to the fatal shooting of Keith Lamont Scott, protesters clashed with police and media covering the event.

North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory declared a state of emergency late Wednesday and deployed the National Guard to help rein in the unrest.