‘DON’T SHOOT HIM!’:
Cell video captures fragments of fatal Charlotte shooting
Lawyers for the family of the man killed this week by Charlotte, N.C., police release a 21⁄ 2- minute video taken by the man’s wife on her cellphone showing some of the events leading up to the shooting.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — In the shaky video she shot on her cellphone, Rakeyia Scott can be heard trying to save her husband’s life.
“Don’t shoot him!” she shouts to the Charlotte, N.C., police officers who surrounded her husband this week in the parking lot of a condominium complex. “He has no weapon.”
As police officers scream at 43-year-old Keith Lamont Scott —“Drop the gun! Drop the gun!” — his wife tells them: “He doesn’t have a gun.”
Shortly after, four shots can be heard followed by Rakeyia’s screams.
“Did you shoot him? Did you shoot him? Did you shoot him?” she screams as she walks closer to the scene, still recording from her phone. “He better not be dead. He better not be … dead.”
Soon, she was using the phone to call 911, her husband’s body splayed on the ground.
Attorneys for the Scott family on Friday released the 21⁄ 2- minute video of Tuesday’s shooting as Charlotte continued to reel from days of protests that have focused in part on city officials’ refusal to release police footage of the incident.
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has called for an end to “the rioting” in Charlotte, while Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton zeroed in on the video, calling for release of the footage “without delay.”
Clinton plans to visit the city Sunday. Trump is expected to do so Tuesday.
Charlotte Mayor Jennifer Roberts urged Clinton to postpone her visit.
An attorney for the Scott family said his clients decided to release cellphone video as part of their quest for truth. Attorney Charles Monnett said the Scott family wants Charlotte officials to publicly release all video of the encounter “so that people can draw their own conclusions.”
The debate over video in Charlotte has once again highlighted the uneven level of transparency that exists in cases of police shootings across the U.S.
Days earlier, police in Tulsa, Okla., had quickly allowed the public to see video of another fatal lineof-duty shooting, this one involving a white police officer and a black motorist.
Charlotte police have said they have no immediate plans to release two recordings of the shooting, one captured by a police dashboard camera and another by an officer’s body camera, according to attorneys for the family.
Brentley Vinson, the black plainclothes officer who shot Scott, was not wearing a recording device, police said. Vinson has been placed on paid adminis- trative leave.
Authorities have said officers encountered Scott because they were searching for another man — a suspect with an outstanding warrant.
According to police, officers saw Scott get out of a car with a handgun and get back into it, and they ordered him to get out and drop the weapon. Police say that he posed a deadly threat and that he refused to drop the gun.
Charlotte police Chief Kerr Putney has said release of the official video would be counterproductive and could potentially inflame the situation — though, in a small concession, he did permit the Scott family to view it.
“It’s not that I want to hide anything,” Putney said at a news conference Friday. “I want to be more thoughtful and deliberate. If I were to put it out indiscriminately and it doesn’t give you good context, it can inflame the situation, exacerbate backlash, increase distrust.”
Rakeyia Scott’s video does not indicate whether her husband had a gun. Police have said he was armed, but witnesses say he held only a book. The video does not show the shooting.
Scott’s wife can be heard telling officers that he has a TBI, or traumatic brain injury.
At one point, she tells her husband to get out of the car so police don’t break the windows.
She also tells him “don’t do it,” but it’s not clear what she means.
After the gunshots, Scott can be seen lying on the ground. His wife continues recording as officers stand over him. It’s unclear if they are checking him for weapons or attempting to give first aid.
The video emerged after a third night of protests. Demonstrators again took to the streets Friday night.
Mayor Roberts signed documents to keep a curfew in effect from midnight until 6 a.m. each day until the state of emergency declared by Gov. Pat McCrory ends.
Meanwhile, Scott’s mother, Vernita Scott Walker, asked protesters to “give up the rioting” because it’s worsened the situation.
Walker told WCSC-TV of Charleston, S.C., that he would not want the violence that followed his death Tuesday. Walker said a peaceful walk is fine, but the rioting and looting “makes it bad for the family.”
A protest march was also held Friday night in Atlanta.
Charlotte is the latest U.S. city to be shaken by protests and recriminations over the death of a black man at the hands of police, a list that includes Baltimore, Milwaukee, Chicago, New York and Ferguson, Mo.
A video frame seems to capture the frantic moments after police shot Keith Lamont Scott on Tuesday in Charlotte, N.C.