Cell video cap­tures frag­ments of fa­tal Char­lotte shoot­ing

Baltimore Sun - - FRONT PAGE - By Jenny Jarvie, Matt Pearce and Jaweed Kaleem Jaweed Kaleem re­ported from Char­lotte, Jenny Jarvie, a spe­cial correspondent, from At­lanta, and Matt Pearce from Los An­ge­les. The As­so­ci­ated Press, Wash­ing­ton Post and McClatchy News­pa­pers con­trib­uted. matt.p

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.

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