Scott Family Wants Videos of Shooting Released to Public; Protester Shot Wed. Dies
Updated Friday, 4:30 a.m.
The family of Keith Scott wants the public to see videos of Scott being shot and killed by police Tuesday. Members of the Scott family viewed dash-cam and body camera videos of the shooting Thursday.
The family's lawyers issued a statement afterward, saying the videos raise more questions than answers. They say it’s impossible to tell from the videos, "what, if anything," Scott was holding when officer Brentley Vinson shot him in an apartment complex near UNC Charlotte.
CMPD says Scott had a gun, and that it’s in police custody. And in a press release the day of the shooting, CMPD said Scott posed an "imminent deadly threat" when he exited his vehicle.
But the family statement says that’s not what the videos show.
They say police gave Scott several commands, but that Scott did not aggressively approach police or raise his hands. He also says Scott was walking backward when he was shot.
"As a matter of the greater good and transparency," the statement says, "the Scott family asks that the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department publicly immediately release both of the videos they watched.
Demonstrators in uptown last night also called for the release of the videos, chanting "We want the tapes! We want the tapes!"
Chief Putney, meanwhile was defiant that they won’t be released.
"What I can tell you is we release it when we believe it is a compelling reason, but I’m not going to jeopardize the investigation," Putney said during a press conference Thursday morning. "And right now, even though we’re investigating, it probably won’t be long term because a request has also been made than an objective party, the SBI, move forward in an investigation."
Putney has support from Mayor Jennifer Roberts. She also watched videos of the shooting yesterday. She told CNN’s Anderson Cooper last night it’s hard to make things out because of constant movement and obscured views.
"It is not a very clear picture and the gun in question is a small gun. And it was not easy to see with the way the motion was happening, so it is ambiguous," Roberts said.
Roberts says there’s delicate balance between transparency and maintaining the integrity of the investigation.
This item has been updated to correct the source of family statement
Updated 7:58 p.m.
The family of police shooting victim Keith Lamont Scott reviewed two police videos of the incident Thursday afternoon. The Scott family's lawyers said in a statement afterward the family still has more questions than answers, and now wants police to make the videos public immediately.
Meanwhile, police say the protester shot by another civilian last night died of his injuries Thursday.
The statement released to news media said: "After watching the videos, the family again has more questions than answers." (See the full statement below)
When Scott was told to get out of his car, he complied "in a very calm, non-aggressive manner."
The family statement said they can't tell from the video what, if anything, Scott had in his hands. Police said it was a gun, but other witnesses said he was holding a book.
The lawyers said the video shows Scott walking slowly backward with his hands by his sides when he was shot.
"It was incredibly difficult for members of the Scott family to view these videos, but as a matter of greater good and transparency, the Scott family asks that the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department publicly immediately release both of the videos they watched today."
Lawyer Justin Bamberg had said before the meeting with police that one of the questions he hoped to answer was whether Scott had a gun, as police have reported.
"That is what the chief says. I haven’t seen any evidence. None of you all have seen any evidence that a gun was there. That is what people are saying," Bamberg said.
Bamberg said Scott didn’t own a gun.
The lawyer said he wasn’t sure if the family would speak to the press after viewing the videos.
He said the family is calling for peaceful protests.
"This family does not agree with rioting or innocent individuals being injured or killed. But they do support citizens in their right to voice their frustration, to voice their anger," he said.
Scott’s family wasn't at the press conference before they reviewed the video. Bamberg said they're still grieving and aren’t ready.
Police said Thursday night that a protester shot by another civilian uptown Wednesday night has died. Justin Carr, 26, died Thursday, according to Charlotte Mecklenburg Police.
Police gave few details about the incident. They're still seeking witnesses.
Carr was shot in the head Wednesday night around 8:30 p.m. as hundreds of protesters gathered outside the Omni Hotel on Trade Street.
McCRORY BACKS CHIEF
North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory says he supports CMPD Chief Kerr Putney's decision NOT to release police body and dash-cam video of Tuesday's fatal shooting of Keith Scott. At a press conference in Charlotte this afternoon, McCrory added that he still supports a law he signed that will make it harder for the public to see police shooting videos, beginning October 1st.
The governor added that he'll do everything in his power to give local authorities the resources they need, in the event of further unrest in Charlotte "and also ensure that our police officers are treated with respect, and also to ensure that there is no further destruction of property - and those who destroy property or hurt other people will be dealt with."
Chief Putney said police arrested 44 people during protests in Uptown Charlotte last night. He says police will have a greater presence, tonight.
National Guard troops and state troopers have been assigned to assist Charlotte-Mecklenburg police, as needed.
And, the state Bureau of Investigation confirmed today, it is looking into the Tuesday police shooting that has sparked two nights of protests in Charlotte.
FULL TEXT OF SCOTT FAMILY STATEMENT
Here's the statement released Thursday, Sept. 22, 2016, by Justin Bamberg, a lawyer for the family of Keith Lamont Scott.
Keith Lamont Scott's wife and other members of her family viewed two videos captured by police dashboard and body cameras that showed Mr. Scott's shooting death.
After watching the videos, the family again has more questions than answers.
When told by police to exit his vehicle, Mr. Scott did so in a very calm, non-aggressive manner.
While police did give him several commands, he did not aggressively approach them or raise his hands at members of law enforcement at any time.
It is impossible to discern from the videos what, if anything, Mr. Scott is holding in his hands.
When he was shot and killed, Mr. Scott's hands were by his side and he was slowly walking backwards.
It was incredibly difficult for members of the Scott family to view these videos, but as a matter of the greater good and transparency, the Scott family asks that the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department publicly immediately release both of the videos they watched today.
We will continue our own investigation into Mr. Scott's death. For those who wish to protest, we urge you to do so peacefully.
Attorneys for the family of Keith Lamont Scott:
Eduardo Curry, Esq., Justin Bamberg, Esq. and Charles Monnett III, Esq.