Numerous hundreds massed outside at the Charlotte police department building on Saturday afternoon chanted the name “Keith Scott”. Meanwhile, hundreds of members of law enforcement stood watch outside of the stadium as fans filtered past the protesters. Officers shook hands with some of them and posed for pictures as a group of about 30 protesters gathered with signs. He tried making up for it by posting a picture of himself, a friend and his dog, with the caption, “All lives matter”, but even that wasn’t good enough for his fans. “Why are you in riot gear?”
The controversy over Scott’s death has made Charlotte, North Carolina’s largest city and a financial center, the latest flashpoint in two years of tense protests over US police killings of black men, a lot of them unarmed.
Chief Putney told a news conference on Saturday that police saw marijuana and a weapon in Scott’s vehicle, and said, “uh-oh, this is a safety issue for us and the public”. It is clear that the Charlotte Police Department are not going to come up with those answers and that will leave things to the DOJ.
The police claim they have recovered a gun with Mr. Scott’s DNA on it. “I think it’s smart that they’re out here”.
Demonstrators make a line across the road after curfew while protesting the police shooting of Keith Scott in Charlotte, North Carolina, September 25.
“Due to the combination of illegal drugs and the gun Mr Scott had in his possession, officers made a decision to take enforcement action for public safety concerns”, the document said. Police supposedly got involved in this tragic situation in the first place because Scott pulled up next to a vehicle containing two plainclothes police officers allegedly about to serve a warrant on another man, and proceeded to roll what they thought was a marijuana “joint”.
Several officers were present when Scott was shot, but police have released footage from only one body camera. One of the attorneys representing the Scott family, Charles G. Monnett, said they released the video “in the name of truth and transparency”.
In a release, the police claim to have seen Mr. Scott hold a gun before the confrontation: “Mr. Scott then exited the vehicle with the gun and backed away from the vehicle while continuing to ignore officers’ repeated loud verbal commands to drop the gun”. Four shots are heard before he falls to the ground.
Videos from the dashboard camera and the body camera also show events leading up to the shooting. Then the officer moves and Scott is out of view until he is seen on the ground.
The cellphone video was the first footage of Scott’s deadly encounter with police to be publicly released.
Scott was shot as he walked slowly backward with his hands by his side, Bamberg said.
The officer who shot Scott, Brentley Vinson, is black. Putney maintains that, under the totality of the circumstances, Scott’s shooting was justified.
The voice of Scott’s wife, who was filming the situation on her cellphone, can be heard in the video, telling officers her husband doesn’t have a gun.