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Why No Marijuana Information? Keith Scott Toxicology Report Leaves A Key Question

A CMPD officer (left) points a gun toward Keith Scott  just before the Charlotte man was shot to death.
A CMPD officer (left) points a gun toward Keith Scott just before the Charlotte man was shot to death Sept. 20.

A toxicology report is out on police shooting victim Keith Lamont Scott, and it's lacking a key piece of information: A test for marijuana. That’s important, because police said they confronted Scott after they saw him rolling a joint. 

The chief state medical examiner's office released autopsy and toxicology reports for Keith Scott Monday night, and they shed little new light on the shooting. In fact, they raise another question.

Charlotte Mecklenburg police were waiting to serve an unrelated arrest warrant at a northeast Charlotte apartment complex on September 20th, when they spotted Scott in his car. They watched him roll a joint, then a short time later spotted a gun. That's when officers left to put on bulletproof vests. When they returned, they ordered Scott out of the car.

Police say he was holding a gun, and when he didn't drop it, Officer Brentley Vinson shot and killed him.

The autopsy confirms what the family's own autopsy showed: That Scott was shot once from behind in the upper back, once from the front, in the abdomen, and once in the wrist. He died at the scene.

A separate toxicology report of tests on Scott’s blood shows he was on several anticonvulsants and sedatives. His family says he was recovering from a traumatic brain injury.

But what about marijuana? Days after the shooting, police released a photo of a joint they say they seized.

But the new report offers no clue whether Scott had used marijuana.

Mecklenburg County Medical Examiner’s Office did the autopsy, but referred  questions to the Chief State Medical Examiner. A spokeswoman there says the office doesn't routinely test for marijuana. Investigators can request specimens for outside tests.

It looks like that didn't happen. CMPD referred questions to the State Bureau of Investigation, which took over the case a couple of days after the shooting. The SBI says it wasn't called into the case until after the autopsy.

An SBI spokesman says the investigation remains open.