Video from police officers and mobile phone footage from Scott's wife have been released to the public in the wake of his death and mass protests
Footage showing the fatal shooting by police of Keith Lamont Scott has been released by police in Charlotte, North Carolina. Videos from both a body camera and a police car dashboard recorded the altercation and death of the 43-year-old Black man.
Speaking at a press conference on Saturday, the Guardian reports that the Scott family attorney asserted that footage doesn’t show evidence that he was armed at the time. “There is no definitive evidence in this video as to whether or not there is an object in his hand, and if there is, what that object is,” said attorney Justin Bamberg. “I don’t see anything there, in my opinion that would lead to him losing his life.”
A police statement related that two officers in plain clothes and an unmarked car were investigating another matter when Scott parked beside them. They saw him rolling what they thought was a “blunt” but also claim to have observed seeing a gun. The footage shows an officer banging on his car window, with dash cam video recording Scott backing away from the officers with raised guns. Scott does not raise or move his hands before being shot. Muffled shouts and movement can be seen on both cameras before the shot.
Officers claimed to have recovered a weapon from the scene, but a GoFundMe page set up by his family says he was shot “four times while reading a book and waiting for his son to get off the bus”.
“People can interpret anything they want based on one piece of evidence,” said police chief Kerr Putney, who claimed the video supported his officer’s version of events. “What we’re giving out is the most complete puzzle we can without trying the case in public. There is no single piece of evidence that proves all of the complexities.”
Responding to the delay in releasing the footage, Putney said: “My priority has been throughout the whole investigative process to maintain the integrity of the investigation,” he said, “because that’s essential, that’s essential in a fact-finding process that leads you to the truth.”
Police claim witnesses attest to officers asking Scott to cooperate, and that his DNA was found on a gun at the scene. The officer who shot Scott, who is also Black, has been placed on administrative leave.
Charlotte, North Carolina is currently in a state of emergency. Peaceful protests have continued across the weekend. Previously, protests had turned violent and a protestor had been killed, and four arrests had been made for rioting and looting.
Last week, Scott’s family released mobile footage taken of the incident by his wife Rakeyia. The two-minute video shows the events prior to the shooting, where she can be heard asking officers not to shoot. “Don’t shoot him! He has no weapon,” she shouts. Officers shout at him to “Drop the gun”. Four shots can then be heard.
“He better not be fucking dead,” Rakeyia Scott says in the video, crying. “He better live.”
Scott's daughter, Lyric Scott, shared a Facebook livestream of the aftermath. “The police just shot my daddy four times for being black,” she says.