In Charlotte, North Carolina, riots took place overnight out of what were originally purported to be protests in the wake of yet another police shooting. It is the second night of violent clashes for the city.

Shots were fired, and one civilian went to the hospital in critical condition, the apparent victim of gunfire from another civilian. A police officer was assaulted. A highway was blocked and cars were surrounded as the drivers were terrorized (video at link).

Rioters even attempted to drag a photographer into a fire they set, as others blocked access to emergency vehicles. Luckily the police on the street intervened and rescued him.

Widespread looting took place, with smashed windows and cars. One reporter who has covered both the Ferguson and Baltimore riots stated that this was the worst property destruction he’s ever seen.

Starting in a small area but spreading throughout the downtown, the rioters clashed with police over and over. Tear gas was deployed many times.

Several members of the press were attacked, some shoved to the ground, others punched and kicked. There may have been at least one racial crime involving a group of black men attacking a white man in a parking garage.

Gov. Pat McCrory, formerly the Mayor of Charlotte, declared a state of emergency during the night.

More, from AFP:

Several hundred people taunted riot police Wednesday night amid clashes in the city center.

Some demonstrators banged on windows, others threw objects at police and stood on cars. Police fired what appeared to be tear gas, sending the protesters scattering.

“We are working to bring peace and calm to our city. We know this is not who Charlotte is,” Mayor Jennifer Roberts said on CNN, calling on people to stay home and off the streets.

“Tell everyone that violence is not the answer,” she said.

Roberts added that authorities would consider other options if violence continues to flare, “possibly curfews and that sort of thing, but right now, we are continuing to work with what we have tonight.”

We will have more on this ongoing story as the day unfolds.