Protests have erupted all over Charlotte, centered around tonight's Triple-A baseball game at BB&T Ballpark. The protests, which are demonstrating following a mistrial declared in the case of Randall "Wes" Kerrick, had been peaceful throughout the day, but police were deployed around BB&T Ballpark as protesters advanced toward the gates of the stadium and began throwing rocks through the gates.
The stadium was hosting a baseball game at the time, and fans were not allowed to leave the stadium through the main gates. Police directed all personnel to leave through an outfield gate, while attempting to direct the protesters away from the crowds.
WBTV in Charlotte has been following the protests throughout the night, and have said there has only been one arrest as of 10:45pm tonight, and there has been limited violence from the protesters and the police are not responding with force. There is a heightened police presence, to include police in riot gear, and is to the point that people leaving the game are stopping to take pictures of the police presence.
Thankfully, so far the protests have remained peaceful, short of some of the rock throwing, and there have been no major issues.
Bank of America Stadium, where the Miami Dolphins are scheduled to face the Carolina Panthers tomorrow night, is about half a mile west of BB&T Ballpark. The police have allowed the protesters to exercise their rights, while making sure the crowds from the ballpark are safe. Should the protests extend into tomorrow, an NFL crowd will likely be larger, needing a larger police presence for security. If the protests continue, or unfortunately escalate, could it threaten the ability for the NFL to hold tomorrow's game?
[UPDATE 11:10pm ET]
Most of the protesters seem to have dispersed and the police are removing some of their presence from downtown Charlotte. WBTV has stated that the Carolina Panthers are monitoring the situation, and do not have a decision on how to handle any continuation of the protests into tomorrow.