Char­lotte to re­lease body and dash cam­era video of shoot­ing

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - NEWS - By Meg Kinnard, Jonathan Drew and Emery P. Dalesio

Char­lotte’s po­lice chief an­nounced Satur­day that he would re­lease body and dash­board cam­era footage of the shoot­ing of a black man af­ter sev­eral days of demon­stra­tions that have co­a­lesced around de­mands that the pub­lic see the video.

Chief Kerr Put­ney said at a news con­fer­ence that the video would be made avail­able through a web link in a news re­lease that was com­ing out shortly af­ter he ad­dressed the me­dia. He said that and other ev­i­dence they were re­leas­ing would cor­rob­o­rate their ac­count of how things un­folded, in­clud­ing that Keith La­mont Scott was hold­ing a gun when he was shot.

He ad­dressed re­porters hours af­ter sev­eral hun­dred demon­stra­tors took to the street for a fifth day of protests in Char­lotte’s cen­tral busi­ness dis­trict.

Put­ney said that he de­cided to re­lease the footage af­ter re­ceiv­ing as­sur­ances from the State Bureau of In­ves­ti­ga­tion that it would not im­pact their in­de­pen­dent probe of the shoot­ing.

Asked whether he ex­pected the footage to calm pro­test­ers, Put­ney re­sponded: “The footage it­self will not cre­ate in any­one’s mind ab­so­lute cer­tainty as to what this case rep­re­sents and what the out­come should be. The footage only sup­ports all of the other in­for­ma­tion” such as phys­i­cal ev­i­dence and state­ments from wit­nesses and of­fi­cers.

Still, the video hadn’t been re­leased as of an hour af­ter the news con­fer­ence.

At his news con­fer­ence, Put­ney said that his of­fi­cers didn’t break the law but noted that the State Bureau of In­ves­ti­ga­tion is con­tin­u­ing its in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

“Of­fi­cers are ab­so­lutely not be­ing charged by me at this point, but again, there’s an­other in­ves­ti­ga­tion on­go­ing,” he said.

Put­ney said that Scott was “ab­so­lutely in pos­ses­sion of a hand­gun,” and that of­fi­cers also saw mar­i­juana in his car — prompt­ing them to act.

Amid anx­i­ety and un­ease over the shoot­ing of Scott, demon­stra­tions in Char­lotte have gone from vi­o­lent to peace­ful, al­though de­mands to see video of the en­counter re­mained at the fore­front of dis­cus­sions for those tak­ing to the streets.

Many of the hundreds massed out­side at the Char­lotte po­lice depart­ment build­ing on Satur­day af­ter­noon chanted the name “Keith Scott.” The 43-yearold black man was shot to death by a black of­fi­cer ear­lier in the week, and po­lice have not re­leased dash­cam and body cam­era video.

They also chanted, “No tapes, no peace” and raised signs in­clud­ing one read­ing “Stop Killing The Black Peo­ple.” Com­mu­nity or­ga­niz­ers have said they ex­pected that protests would con­tinue in some form un­til the videos were re­leased.

The city has been on edge ever since Scott’s shoot­ing death on Tues­day. The demon­stra­tions reached a vi­o­lent crescendo on Wed­nes­day be­fore the Na­tional Guard was called in a day later to main­tain or­der.

The next two nights of protests were free of prop­erty dam­age and vi­o­lence, with or­ga­niz­ers stress­ing a mes­sage of peace at the end of the week.

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, Mis­souri.

Ear­lier in the week, the Char­lotte protests turned vi­o­lent, with demon­stra­tors at­tack­ing re­porters and oth­ers, set­ting fires and smash­ing win­dows of ho­tels, of­fice build­ings and restau­rants.

Forty-four peo­ple were ar­rested af­ter Wed­nes­day’s protests, and one pro­tester who was shot died at a hospi­tal Thurs­day. City of­fi­cials said po­lice did not shoot 26-year-old Justin Carr. A sus­pect was ar­rested, but po­lice pro­vided few de­tails.

On Thurs­day, protests were largely peace­ful af­ter Na­tional Guard mem­bers came to the city to help keep or­der and the mayor im­posed a cur­few.

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