NBA legend and Charlotte Hornets owner Michael Jordan is calling on city residents to “restore calm and come together” in the wake of Wednesday night’s outbreak of violence.
Charlotte has been the epicenter of law-enforcement brutality protests ever since the police-involved shooting of Keith Lamont Scott. Riots exploded throughout Charlotte on Wednesday night, with looters raiding city stores and police using tear gas on the crowds. One man remains in a hospital in critical condition after sustaining injuries from a shooting.
The unrest moved Jordan, who grew up in Wilmington, N.C., and played college basketball for UNC before going pro, to formally address the situation.
“First, I want to express my condolences to the Scott family for their loss. I also wish for a full recovery to those who have been injured,” Jordan said.
“In light of the tragic events of the past three days, it is more important than ever that we restore calm and come together, as a community, in peaceful demonstration and conversation, and in constructive and non-violent ways. As part of the fabric of Charlotte, the Hornets organization is committed to working with civic leaders, our elected leaders and law enforcement to foster more trust, transparency and understanding so we can heal and grow together as a community.”
The Hornets’ team store, located right in the heart of Charlotte, was heavily looted during the riots.
The riot is the latest unrest related to nationally-publicized police-related killings of African-American citizens.
Police say they arrived at an apartment complex to search for a man with an outstanding warrant and that, when they arrived, Scott, who is black, exited a vehicle while holding a gun. Police say they ordered Scott to drop the gun multiple times, but Scott allegedly refused to do so.
Scott’s sister and daughter claim that he was reading a book in his car, although neither of them were present at the time of the shooting.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Chief Kerr Putney believes that the riots are occurring based off of a false belief of overt police brutality.
“It’s time to change the narrative, because I can tell you from the facts that the story’s a little bit different as to how it’s been portrayed so far, especially through social media,” Putney said Wednesday during a news conference.