Tuesday 6 December 2016

Charlotte police release video showing killing of Keith Lamont Scott

Harriet Alexander

Published 25/09/2016 | 09:09

Footage from police body cameras show officers apprehending Keith Lamont Scott Credit: Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department
Footage from police body cameras show officers apprehending Keith Lamont Scott Credit: Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department

Police in Charlotte, North Carolina, have announced released footage from police body cameras, showing the moment when Keith Lamont Scott was shot dead.

  • Go To

The distressing footage shows his death, but does not show whether Scott is holding a gun.

Keith Lamont Scott (R) with his wife and son (Photo: GoFundMe)
Keith Lamont Scott (R) with his wife and son (Photo: GoFundMe)

Kerr Putney, chief of Charlotte police, said: "My priority throughout the process has been to obtain the facts.

"Today, I have decided that we are at a stage where I can release additional information without adversely impacting the investigation.

"Doing it earlier would have had a negative impact on the integrity of the investigation."

Mr Putney said two video clips - one from the dashcam, one from the body cameras - are being released immediately, with more later when the prosecutor has made a definitive decision.

"I stand by the truth. People can stand by their opinions. The consistent things were the facts. And that's what I stand by."

Mr Putney denied that Scott had been stopped in a case of mistaken identity. He said that officers saw Scott in possession of marijuana.

He said none of his officers were being disciplined.

"There was a compelling reason for this encounter. They were intentionally detaining this man. It was to take this man off the streets," he said.

"There is a crime that he committed. The handgun aggravated the situation.

"Based on the totality of what we see, he absolutely was in possession of a handgun."

He said there is no visual evidence of Scott pointing a gun at the officers.

Asked whether he could give guarantees that Scott's life was respected by the officers, Mr Putney replied: "At every encounter, people can make a choice to listen to loud verbal commands, or not."

On Saturday, before Mr Putney's announcement, protesters in Charlotte took to the streets, shouting: “Release the tape.”

Hillary Clinton, the mayor of Charlotte and the NAACP had all called on Charlotte police to release the footage showing the incident, which sparked rioting across the city on Tuesday and Wednesday evening.

Scott, a 43-year-old father of six, died on Tuesday afternoon following an altercation with the police, who initial reports suggested were searching for a different man.

His family claim that Scott, who had suffered a brain injury in a motorbike accident, was unarmed and was holding a book when he was shot, while waiting to collect his son fro school. Police have said that he was in possession of a loaded handgun.

On Friday Scott’s wife Rakeyia released her own video of the incident, in which she can be heard yelling: “He’s unarmed! Don’t shoot him!”

The Scott family have been shown the police video, but Mr Putney, chief of police, was reluctant to release the footage, describing it as inconclusive and leaving more questions than answers.

On Saturday a coalition of religious leaders held a press conference, with Reverend Corine Mack, president of the Charlotte association of the NAACP, saying they had been “pleading with the police - pleading for the release of the tape.”

Rabbi Judith Schindler, of the Charlotte clergy coalition for justice, echoed her call and demanded an end to violence.

“More than 700 people have black people have been killed by police this year. This must stop,” she said. “If any of our loved ones are suspected of a crime, we expect them to be taken into custody for questioning without being killed – black, white, affluent, poor.

“You hold the video of Kevin Lamont Scott’s final moments – a video that is ours.

“If it is inconclusive let us judge it together.”

Scott's family and family attorneys said the videos showed Scott walking away from law enforcement at the time he was struck by bullets.

"He doesn't appear to be acting aggressively to the officers on the scene" Justin Bamberg, a lawyer for the Scott family, told a news conference.

"Unfortunately we are left with far more questions than we have answers," Ray Dotch, Scott's brother-in-law, said. "It does not make sense to us how this incident resulted in the loss of life."

Online Editors

Read More

Promoted articles

Editors Choice

Also in World News