Continued protests in downtown Charlotte, North Carolina follow Tuesday’s officer-involved shooting death of Keith Lamont Scott. Yesterday saw new footage released by Scott’s wife, Rakeyia, as she ran towards the scene and heard her husband being shot. During a Saturday press conference, Charlotte-Mecklenburg PD Chief Kerr Putney stated that body-cam and dashcam footage of the incident would be released due to public pressure. Ideally, this footage would have shown which version of events — whether Scott was exiting his car while holding a gun as the CMPD states or sitting in his car and reading a book as his relatives have stated — is true. However, the footage was forecast to only be a partial release.
After a few hours, the CMPD released two videos. A graphic bodycam video can be viewed at the Charlotte Observer. Dashcam footage is available on Twitter and shows Scott exiting his vehicle and walking backwards (with his arms down) when he is shot four times. Both clips are short and do not make clear whether Scott held a gun (although officers appear to be shouting, “Drop the gun!”), nor does the footage show a clear threat or any sort of movement against officers. In the bodycam video, Scott can be heard moaning after being shot, and blood is visible on one of his cuffed hands. In addition, audio in the bodycam video doesn’t kick in until about halfway through, so we don’t fully hear what officers are saying.
Gabe Gutierrez of NBC News tweeted photos released by the CMPD. The images show the gun and ankle holster that police say were in possession of Scott at the time of his death.
Before the footage release, Time Warner News Charlotte reporter Caroline Vandergriff reported protesters’ assertion that they won’t stop protesting until full footage arrives.
The CMPD attempted to explain their prior deleted tweets on the matter. They’re pointing the finger at an “uncomfortable” employee who didn’t agree with live-tweeting the release process.
During the aforementioned press conference, Chief Putney noted that he thinks Scott was armed, but the footage was “insufficient” in proving whether Scott was armed: “There is no definitive visual evidence that he had a gun in his hand and that he pointed it at an officer.” However, Putney insisted that collective evidence proved that Scott armed (and that the gun was loaded) and an imminent threat to officers. Putney also stated that police noticed Scott had marijuana in his car.
Prior to the partial footage release, Governor Pat McCrory posted a Facebook statement, in which he agreed with the footage release, which he says “will have no material impact on the independent investigation since most of the known witnesses have been interviewed.”
(Via Washington Post)