Police release video of shooting
CHARLOTTE police have released footage of the fatal shooting of a black man during an encounter with officers, after days of protests demanding the videos be made public.
The September 20 shooting of Keith Lamont Scott has caused several nights of unrest in the southern US city where residents have called for the police to hand over the footage.
The videos were released to a number of US media and posted online. The first shows Mr Scott getting out of a vehicle and walking backward as police fire four rounds at him, but it is unclear whether he has a gun in hand. A second clip reveals Mr Scott on the ground after he was shot.
Police had previously refused to release the dash-cam and body-cam footage, which they said showed that the 43-year-old African American had posed a threat to officers.
But Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Chief Kerr Putney changed his tune, telling reporters that people “want to see the facts, objective facts. And that’s what we’re presenting”.
“People can interpret anything they want based on one piece of evidence and I suspect they will, based on the footage. You have to put all pieces together,” he said.
Mr Scott’s family lawyer Justin Bamberg told a news conference that despite the new videos, it was still impossible to “clearly identify what, if anything, is in his hand”.
Mr Scott was killed at a Charlotte apartment complex during an encounter with police searching for another person wanted for arrest. Police say he had a handgun. His family says he was holding a book.
Mr Putney insisted that Mr Scott had a handgun and added that he was also in possession of marijuana.
“When officers see the weapon, and they see the marijuana, they say, ‘Oh-oh, this is a safety issue for us and the public’,” Mr Putney said.
Police also released a photo of a handgun they say Mr Scott had on him as well as an ankle holster.
Following several nights of violence-marred protests, North Carolina’s governor had already declared a state of emergency in the city.
Mr Scott’s death is the latest in a string of police-involved killings of black men that has fuelled outrage across America. –
A body camera screen grab, courtesy of a Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department video released on September 24, shows Keith Lamont Scott on the ground after being shot by a police officer in Charlotte, North Carolina, on September 20.