Police release video showing deadly Charlotte shooting

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CHARLOTTE, North Carolina (CNN) — A camera worn by a uniformed Charlotte police officer shows him running up to the encounter between other officers and Keith Scott, an African-American man who was killed earlier this week by a black police officer.

The video and photo evidence were released late Saturday by Charlotte police.

The officer with the camera moves next to a white truck and pauses next to a plainclothes officer before running around to his left. As the officer passes a gap between vehicles Scott is visible, with his right arm by his side.

The next time Scott is seen, he is lying on the ground with five officers converging on him. There is no audio for the first 25 seconds of the video and none of the shots is heard.

CNN is asking police whether the tapes have been selectively edited, either in audio or video.

Charlotte police on Saturday also released a photo of a pistol it says Keith Scott had on him when he was shot earlier this week by a plainclothes officer. The department also included photos of an ankle holster and what it said was a marijuana cigarette.

Tuesday’s shooting of Scott at an apartment complex parking lot has spurred protests in Charlotte over the past four nights. It is among a number of shootings in recent years that have spurred debate about how and when police should use deadly force.

The status of the videos held by police — body camera and dashcam footage — has been a point of contention between police and Scott’s family, with authorities declining to release them throughout the week.

Demonstrators gathered on Charlotte streets again for a fifth day. A diverse crowd of a couple of hundred people marched from Marshall Park after a short rally. The crowd stopped at the Charlotte-Mecklenburg police headquarters and chanted: “No tapes; no peace.”

‘Don’t shoot him’

Scott’s widow released her cell phone recording of the shooting — the first to be released publicly — on Friday.

“Don’t shoot him. He has no weapon,” Rakeyia Scott can be heard saying in the footage. The first portions of the shaky video appear to show a number of police officers surround a vehicle in a parking lot.

A man repeatedly yells for someone — apparently Keith Scott — to “drop the gun.”

“He doesn’t have a gun. He has a TBI (traumatic brain injury),” Rakeyia Scott says. “He’s not going to do anything to you guys. He just took his medicine.”

She goes on to say: “Keith, don’t let them break the windows; come on out the car. Keith! Don’t do it. Keith, get out the car. Keith! Keith, don’t you do it. Don’t you do it. Keith! Keith! Keith!”

The video shakes, and for a moment, a man in bright blue pants is seen near the surrounded vehicle. Gunshots are heard as Rakeyia Scott says again, “Don’t you do it.”

She then yells: “Did you shoot him? Did you shoot him? He better not be (expletive) dead.” Two people kneel over the figure with blue pants, apparently Keith Scott, now lying on the ground.

Police said an officer shot Scott after he failed to heed commands to drop a gun. His family has said he didn’t have a gun.

The gun police say they recovered from the scene was loaded, a source close to the investigation told CNN. The source said investigators recovered from the weapon fingerprints, blood and DNA that matched with Scott. The source said the blood most likely got on the gun after the shooting.

‘We want the public to take a look at this tape’

An attorney for the Scott family told CNN the tape was released because officials would not furnish the police footage to the public.

“We want the public to take a look at this tape and see what was in the video before he was shot, and what was there afterward, and ask how it got there,” family attorney Eduardo Curry said Friday.

Rakeyia Scott spoke of TBI in the tape, a reference to traumatic brain injury, Curry said. Scott’s family has said he was disabled after being in a near-death motorcycle crash last year.

“My understanding (is) that he had had an accident last year that was pretty traumatic, and as a result, made him at least disabled in some particular instances (and was) taking medication for it,” Curry said.

The Scott family said it released the video in the “name of truth and transparency,” according to a statement released by attorney Charles G. Monnett. “We encourage everyone to reserve judgment until all the facts are known. This is simply one step in our quest to find the truth for this family.”

Police allowed the family to see the police-held footage Thursday, but the public has yet to see it.

On Friday, Charlotte-Mecklenberg police Chief Kerr Putney said he expected police videos of the shooting to be released eventually when investigators decide it can be done as part of a package with other information, so the videos aren’t made public without context.

That stance differed from the chief’s message a day earlier that the public shouldn’t expect the videos’ release.

Curry said he doesn’t expect Rakeyia Scott to speak publicly soon.

“Give the family a chance to mourn and grieve,” Curry said. “At some point we’ll revisit (whether she’ll speak).”

The shooting

Central to the protests are the differing accounts between police and Scott’s family over what led to his death. Authorities said a black police officer fatally shot Scott, a father of seven, at the apartment complex as officers looked for another man named in a warrant they were trying to serve there.

Police said Scott had a gun as he exited his vehicle, and that Officer Brentley Vinson shot him after Scott did not comply with officers’ commands to drop the weapon.

Scott’s family has said he was reading a book and waiting for his son to come home from school at the time. Police said no book was found at the scene.

What the police videos are said to show

Charlotte Mayor Jennifer Roberts has said that one factor affecting the timing in the release of the police videos is that investigators want to record witness’ accounts and don’t want their recollections altered by what they see on the videos. Vinson was not carrying a body camera, police said.

Scott’s family said the police videos showed him acting calmly and not aggressively. Scott didn’t own a gun or habitually carry a gun, family attorney Justin Bamberg said.

“When he was shot and killed, Mr. Scott’s hands were by his side, and he was slowly walking backward,” he said.

The police chief has said the video does not provide “definitive visual evidence” that Scott pointed a gun at officers. The investigation has been turned over to the State Bureau of Investigation, which said the Charlotte-Mecklenberg police are still the custodians of the videos and can release them if they want.

North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory said Friday that the bureau has been looking for several days into the deadly encounter between Scott and police. State investigators have interviewed most of the critical witnesses in the shooting, McCrory said.

Meanwhile, a photo obtained by CNN affiliate WSOC-TV shows the immediate aftermath of the shooting, a source close to the investigation told CNN.

A black object near the bottom of the photo is a gun that police found at the scene, the source said.

North Carolina recently passed a law that blocks the release of police recordings from body or dashboard cameras with limited exceptions. That law is set to take effect in October.

The mayor said an attorney for the city told her the law will not affect decisions about whether to release the videos in Scott’s killing, because it was not in effect at the time of the shooting.

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2 comments

    • Michael

      I think a better example is cop says drop the gun you drop the gun.

      Just realize you are going to get shot if you bring a weapon to a confrontation with a cop. All lives matter but if you don’t drop the weapon you deserve what you get. Regardless of color.

      Now stop the rioting already. Your guys aren’t bringing any credence to your cause with your actions.