CHARLOTTE: A third night of protests following the fatal police shooting of a black man in Charlotte turned uglier Thursday night as police fired tear gas to disperse demonstrators blocking a main highway.
Protesters in the southern US city fled after police with rifles fired the tear gas and what appeared to be rubber bullets, an AFP reporter on the scene said.
Earlier, several hundred demonstrators had blocked one lane of a major highway near the Bank of America Stadium, with some lying down as panicking drivers turned their cars around and drove off in the wrong direction.
In the center of Charlotte, the atmosphere was calmer as hundreds marched to the city police station carrying signs saying "Stop killing us" and "Resistance is beautiful."
The city authorities have imposed a curfew effective midnight (0400 GMT).
The protests follow the shooting of Keith Lamont Scott, a 43-year-old African American, the latest in a string of police-involved killings of black men that have fueled outrage across the United States.
North Carolina's governor has declared a state of emergency in Charlotte, and several hundred National Guard troops and highway police officers were deployed to reinforce local police.