Videos released by police in Charlotte, North Carolina, shows a deadly confrontation between police and Keith Lamont Scott, a 43-year-old black man who was shot to death Tuesday, triggering riots in North Carolina’s largest city.
The two videos from body cameras and dash cameras from officers confronting Scott were released Saturday after days of calls by protesters to make the footage public.
One of the videos shows Scott getting out of his car and turning to his left, standing in the parking lot for about three seconds before he is shot and seen falling to the ground.
A second video does not show Scott before he is on the ground. The audio on this video has been removed for the first 23 seconds.
http://www.voanews.com/embed/player/0/3523698.htmlA fifth day of protests against the shooting was largely peaceful after the release of the videos. On Sunday, dozens of protesters chanted, “Black lives matter!” outside the Carolina Panthers-Minnesota Vikings professional football game in Charlotte.
The Panthers’ star quarterback,Cam Newton, wore a T-shirt in pregame warm-ups quoting civil rights icon Martin Luther Jing Jr., saying, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”
The major question about the shooting – whether Scott was holding a gun when police ordered him to step out of his car – was not answered, even with the release of the video, which shows Scott exiting his car and backing slowly away as police officers order him to drop his weapon.
Police said Saturday that two plainclothes officers in an unmarked car had been in Scott’s neighborhood Tuesday to serve a warrant to someone else when they spotted Scott sitting in his car holding what they believed to be a marijuana joint [cigarette].
Police Chief Kerr Putnam told reporters Saturday the officers also believed they saw Scott holding a gun, and reasoned that the combination of drugs and a weapon constituted a threat to public safety.
http://www.voanews.com/embed/player/0/3523699.htmlPutnam said the officers retreated, donned protective gear that was marked “Police,” and returned to confront Scott, ordering him loudly to drop his weapon, something that can be heard on the video. Police say Scott did not comply, even after a police officer in a marked SUV drove up and pounded with his fist on Scott’s passenger-side window.
Police said Scott then got out of his vehicle, but did not surrender a weapon, and one of the officers fired the fatal shots.
In a news conference Saturday, Scott’s family questioned how the situation could have turned deadly so quickly. After seeing the video, Scott’s brother told reporters, “Unfortunately, now we are left with more questions than answers.”
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Chief Kerr Putney announced earlier Saturday the video would be released, a central demand by protesters who have been marching in Charlotte since Tuesday night.
Several hundred demonstrators gathered near police headquarters Saturday as Putney held his news conference.
Putney said he had been assured that making the video public would not interfere with an ongoing investigation of the killing. He said the images were being released “in the spirit of transparency.”
The police chief defended his officers’ actions, saying they acted correctly in firing at Scott because he had marijuana with him at the time and also had a firearm.
The question of whether or not Scott had a gun with him, and whether he brandished it at police, has been central to the public debate over this case in North Carolina’s largest city.
Scott’s family members have said repeatedly that he had no weapon, and that he was sitting in his car, reading a book and waiting for his son to be dropped off by a school bus, when police approached him.
The dead man’s widow, Rakeyia, has released a recording she made with her mobile phone on Tuesday, calling out to police over and over again that he was unarmed, and at the same time calling out to Scott to obey all police orders and come out of his car.
A marijana “blunt” cigarette that police said was in the possession of Keith Lamont Scott is seen in a picture provided by the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department in Charlotte, North Carolina, Sept. 24, 2016.
Neither Rakeyia Scott’s video nor the images released by police Saturday show clearly whether or not Keith Scott was holding a gun. As she yells that he is unarmed, police can be heard shouting at Scott: “Drop the gun!” Gunshots then ring out, and Scott can be seen lying prone in the street.
Authorities said the police were in the area looking for someone else when they saw Scott was holding a gun, and turned toward him.
Soon after the shooting, it was learned the police had video recordings of what happened, and those images became the focus of angry demonstrations. Wednesday’s protest turned violent, with store windows smashed and scuffles with police, who fired tear gas at the crowd.
A 26-year-old man was shot and fatally wounded, by someone in the crowd, authorities have said, not by a police officer.
Demonstrations have been more peaceful since then, and the city has ordered a midnight curfew, which police have chosen not to enforce while anyone still on the streets at that hour is peaceful.