Basic facts: On September 20, police on another assignment say they saw a man exit a vehicle with a gun. After he went back to the car and reemerged, he was repeatedly told to “drop the gun” and when he didn’t, Keith Lamont Scott was shot and killed by officer Brentley Vinson, both black. Initial reports on broadcast and social media said the victim was disabled, was carrying a book, and was shot by an officer in civilian clothes. Police say no book was found. A gun was recovered at the scene but police have not said definitively that it belonged to Scott.
Protests against police began shortly after the incident and by midnight had turned violent. On Wednesday there were injuries, one of which resulted in a civilian death after one protester shot another. Gov. Pat McCrory declared a state of emergency. By Thursday night and Friday protests had once again become peaceful.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Chief Kerr Putney showed police videos to Scott’s family and said they did not definitively show Scott pointing a gun at officers. The officer who fired the fatal shots was in civilian clothes and was not wearing a body-cam. Putney said he would not make the videos public. North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper was among those urging that they be made public. Scott’s widow released a cell phone video in which she can be heard imploring police not to shoot, that he was medicated, and not armed.
Charlotte Observer Friday recap http://www.charlotteobserver.com/news/local/crime/article103629427.html
Timeline of how protests developed the first day or so (Charlotte Observer) http://www.charlotteobserver.com/news/local/article103131242.html
Widow’s video with transcript (NPR) http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2016/09/23/495200112/witness-video-emerges-from-scene-of-charlotte-police-shooting-of-keith-scott
Why police videos haven’t been released (NY Times): http://www.nytimes.com/2016/09/23/us/charlotte-shooting-police-bodycam-video.html?_r=0
Widely varying decisions on releasing police videos (WPost) https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/2016/09/22/431de970-80e6-11e6-a52d-9a865a0ed0d4_story.html
Use of body cams questioned after Charlotte police killings
SEPTEMBER 26, 2016. BY EMERY P. DALESIO, JONATHAN DREW AND MEG KINNARD Associated Press. The fatal shooting of a black man by a police officer in Charlotte is only the latest shooting to raise questions about how the department uses body cameras. Six people were fatally shot since body cameras were given to all patrol officers about a year ago. But the officers who fired the fatal shots in five of those cases — including Keith Lamont Scott’s — weren’t using the cameras. The weekend release of police footage showing the shooting of Scott did little to ease some residents’ concerns about its handling. More than 100 people jammed City Council chambers Monday night to voice their frustrations, calling for Mayor Jennifer Roberts and Police Chief Kerr Putney to resign. “We have no reason to trust you, and you’re giving us even less,” Khasha Harris said at the forum. “Deep down somewhere, your conscience has to be bothering you.” See full article at http://www.charlotteobserver.com/news/nation-world/national/article104268111.html
New Information In Charlotte Police Shooting Undercuts Prevailing Narrative
The gun that police say the 43-year-old Scott had on him at the time of last Tuesday’s shooting was reportedly stolen in a residential burglary, news station WBTV reports. As a felon, Scott, who was black, was legally prohibited from owning a firearm, much less a stolen one. Police also said that they observed Scott smoking marijuana in his vehicle and then wielding a gun outside of his apartment complex before he was approached by officers.
A third piece of evidence undercutting the narrative emerged Monday in the form of a restraining order that Scott’s wife, Rakeyia, filed on Oct. 5, 2015. As the Independent Journal Review notes, the document shows that she told police that her husband owned a 9mm handgun and that he had threatened to kill her. The retraining order, issued by a Gaston County district court judge, granted Rakeyia Scott a temporary restraining order that prohibited her husband from going near her and three of their children. Keith Scott was also ordered to hand over the 9mm he owned illegally.
Before filing the order, Rakeyia Scott said that her husband had kicked her, punched their 8-year-old son and threatened to shoot her. “He said he is a ‘killer’ and we should know that,” a police report reads. She reversed course days later, saying that she did not need a restraining order because Scott was no longer a danger to her and their children. Rakeyia Scott recorded video of her husband being shot. While the video does not show much of the shooting, Scott is heard telling officers that her husband did not have a firearm. She also yelled to police that he suffered from a traumatic brain injury. Scott sustained the injury in a 2015 motorcycle accident.