Don’t hold your breath waiting for Obama to call for calm in Charlotte. Evidence and facts don’t matter to the Kingpin of Division and hate in America….
WARNING GRAPHIC CONTENT: The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department released body- and dash-cam videos of the fatal police shooting of Keith Lamont Scott on Saturday after days of mounting public pressure. In a press conference, Chief Kerr Putney said while the videos show no “absolute, definitive visual evidence” that the 43-year-old black man had a gun in his hand, other evidence from the scene does prove it. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department
Videos released Saturday do not show Keith Lamont Scott raising a weapon toward officers nor a gun in his hand.
But the footage, from a police dashboard camera and one body camera, captures the confrontation Tuesday in which an officer repeatedly orders Scott to drop his gun.
Scott drew the attention of officers who were trying to serve an arrest warrant on an unrelated suspect at the Village at College Downs apartment complex in University City because he had marijuana in his vehicle, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Chief Kerr Putney said Saturday.
Officers were going to continue on their original mission until an officer spotted a weapon in the vehicle, Putney said.
“It was not lawful for him to possess a firearm,” Putney said. “There was a crime he committed and the gun exacerbated the situation.”
Officer Brentley Vinson, who fired four shots at Scott, was not wearing a body cam so his visual perspective was not part of the footage. Putney said that body cameras are being rolled out across the department and not all tactical officers have them yet.
Putney said the videos support the larger fabric of evidence in the case that includes accounts from officers at the scene, forensics and interviews with witnesses.
He said he has found nothing to indicate that Vinson acted inappropriately given the totality of the circumstances, and he does not think his officers broke the law that day.
They were, he said, reacting to what appeared to be an immenient theat.
“At every encounter, people can make a decision to follow loud, clear verbal commands,” he said.
Here is the video showing the shooting of Keith Lamont Scott:
Details of encounter
Police on Saturday gave this account of the fatal encounter:
Two officers in plain clothes were in an unmarked car waiting to serve a warrant when Scott’s white SUV pulled in beside of them.
They saw Scott roll what they believed to be a marijuana “blunt.” They returned to watching for their suspect when they saw Scott hold up a gun.
They withdrew to a spot nearby and put on duty vests that said “Police” and equipment that would identify them as officers.
When they came back, Scott still had the gun. They identified themselves as police officers, the department said, and told him loudly and repeatedly to drop the weapon. Scott did not comply.
Then a uniformed officer in a marked SUV drove up to assist and the officer started pounding on the front passenger window.
Scott then got out with the gun and backed away, police said, but did not drop the weapon.
“Officer Vinson perceived Mr. Scott’s actions and movements as an imminent physical threat to himself and the other officers,” police said in a statement. “Officer Vinson fired his issued service weapon, striking Mr. Scott. Officers immediately rendered first aid and requested Medic to respond to the scene.”
Police said numerous witnesses interviewed by homicide detectives heard the police shouting at Scott to drop the gun.
Scott’s DNA and his fingerprints were found on the loaded gun recovered at the scene. Scott was wearing an ankle holster, police said.
Debate over release
Widespread calls were heard for release of police video footage from civic and political quarters – and even street protesters who chanted “Release the Tapes!” repeatedly outside CMPD headquarters.
On Friday, attorneys for Scott’s family released a dramatic cellphone video taken by Rakeyia Scott during her husband’s shooting.
In it, she can be heard pleading with officers not to shoot as they barked commands at Scott to drop his gun.
Putney said the appearance of that footage had no impact on his decision to release the police videos.
He said he decided to release the videos in the interest of transparency and because the State Bureau of Investigation, which is leading the inquiry in the case, had completed key interviews with witnesses and assured him the release would not harm the integrity of their probe.
“Doing so before this would have had a negative impact on the investigation,” he said.
In the aftermath of Scott’s death, Charlotte was roiled by several nights of protests. After street violence on Tuesday and Wednesday night, dozens of arrests and the death of one man in uptown, Gov. Pat McCrory declared a state of emergency.
Read more here: Charlotte Observer