Saturday, September 24, 2016
LAMONT SCOTT DEATH VIDEO RELEASED BY CHARLOTTE POLICE:
WAS THE VIDEO EDITED OR UNEDITED?
PLEASE PRAY FOR BLACK MEN IN AMERICA.
PLEASE PRAY FOR UNITY BETWEEN BLACK PEOPLE AND THE POLICE.
Sources: CMPD, CNN, YouTube
**** Charlotte shooting: Police release video and photo evidence
Police photos show pistol, holster and marijuana cigarette officers say were retrieved at scene.
Dashcam and body-camera videos do not show Scott pointing a gun at officers.
Videos released Saturday by the Charlotte police department of the fatal encounter between Keith Scott and officers do little to answer some of the most significant questions about the shooting.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Chief Kerr Putney has said as much since the Tuesday shooting that sparked protests and brought nationwide media attention once again to the use of deadly force by law enforcement.
Authorities have said an African-American officer shot Scott, who was black, when he made a threatening move with a gun. Saturday, police released photos of a pistol and ankle holster recovered at the scene.
Scott's family has said he had no gun, that he was reading a book, and he was being non-aggressive when police were surrounding him.
Neither police dashcam nor body-camera footage shows Scott pointing a gun at police officers. At one point in the body-camera video, there is a view of Scott from his right side and he has his arm by his body, but it is unclear if there is a gun.
"You can't clearly identify what, if anything, is in his hand," attorney Justin Bamberg, who represents the Scott family, said at news conference Saturday evening.
Putney had said, before the videos were released, that "there is no definitive visual evidence that he had a gun in his hand."
The chief has also said the videos are part of the evidence, the totality of which will show the shooting was justified.
Police say officer saw gun
The release comes one day after a video recorded by Keith Scott's widow was released publicly. Putney said the cell phone recording didn't factor into his decision to release dashcam and body-camera video of the fatal shooting.
"Our practice and our protocol is to release as soon as we can, to inform," Putney said, adding that he waited until the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation assured him it would not adversely impact its investigation.
Tuesday's shooting of Scott, a black man, by a black police officer at an apartment complex parking lot has led to protests -- which turned violent at times -- in Charlotte over the past five nights. It is among a number of shootings in recent years that have spurred debate about how and when police should use deadly force and how race factors into whom police shoot.
The status of the videos held by police -- body-camera and dashcam footage -- was a point of contention between police and Scott's family, with authorities declining to release them throughout the week.
Demonstrators on Saturday gathered for a fifth day in the city's center. A diverse crowd of hundreds of people marched from Marshall Park after a short rally. The crowd stopped at the Charlotte-Mecklenburg police headquarters and chanted: "No tapes; no peace."
'Don't shoot him'
Scott's widow released her cell phone recording of the shooting -- the first to be released publicly -- on Friday.
"Don't shoot him. He has no weapon," Rakeyia Scott can be heard saying in the footage. The first portions of the shaky video appear to show a number of police officers surround a vehicle in a parking lot.
A man repeatedly yells for someone -- apparently Keith Scott -- to "drop the gun."
"He doesn't have a gun. He has a TBI (traumatic brain injury)," Rakeyia Scott says. "He's not going to do anything to you guys. He just took his medicine."
She goes on to say: "Keith, don't let them break the windows; come on out the car. Keith! Don't do it. Keith, get out the car. Keith! Keith, don't you do it. Don't you do it. Keith! Keith! Keith!"
The video shakes, and for a moment, a man in bright blue pants is seen near the surrounded vehicle. Gunshots are heard as Rakeyia Scott says again, "Don't you do it."
She then yells: "Did you shoot him? Did you shoot him? He better not be (expletive) dead." Two people kneel over the figure with blue pants, apparently Keith Scott, now lying on the ground.
Smashed windows to handshakes: 24 hours in Charlotte
Police said an officer shot Scott after he failed to heed commands to drop a gun. His family has said he didn't have a gun.
The gun police say they recovered from the scene was loaded, a source close to the investigation told CNN. The source said investigators recovered from the weapon fingerprints, blood and DNA that matched with Scott. The source said the blood most likely got on the gun after the shooting.
'We want the public to take a look at this tape'
Another attorney for the Scott family told CNN the recording was released because officials would not furnish the police footage to the public.
"We want the public to take a look at this tape and see what was in the video before he was shot, and what was there afterward, and ask how it got there," Eduardo Curry said Friday.
Rakeyia Scott mentioned a traumatic brain injury in the recording, and Scott's family has said he was disabled after being in a near-death motorcycle crash last year.
"My understanding (is) that he had had an accident last year that was pretty traumatic, and as a result, made him at least disabled in some particular instances (and was) taking medication for it," Curry said.
The Scott family said it released the video in the "name of truth and transparency," according to a statement released by attorney Charles G. Monnett. "We encourage everyone to reserve judgment until all the facts are known. This is simply one step in our quest to find the truth for this family."
Police allowed the family to see the police-held footage Thursday.
Central to the protests are the differing accounts between police and Scott's family over what led to his death. Authorities said a black police officer fatally shot Scott, a father of seven, at the apartment complex as officers looked for another man named in a warrant they were trying to serve there.
Clinton, Trump change plans to visit Charlotte after mayor's plea
Police said Scott had a gun as he exited his vehicle, and that Officer Brentley Vinson shot him after Scott did not comply with officers' commands to drop the weapon.
Scott's family has said he was reading a book and waiting for his son to come home from school at the time. Police said no book was found at the scene.