Tags: Unrest in Charlotte, NC | Charlotte | police | video | shooting | death

Charlotte Police Chief to Release Video of Shooting Death

By    |   Saturday, 24 September 2016 04:49 PM

Charlotte police said Saturday that it would release specific video in Tuesday's fatal shooting of an African-American man — and Charlotte-Mecklenburg Chief Kerr Putney said that Keith Lamont Scott had committed a crime and possessed a handgun when he was approached by officers.

"There was a crime that he had committed that caused the encounter," Putney said at a news conference on as demonstrators protested for the fifth day over Scott's death. "Then, the gun exacerbated that situation.

"The reason for the encounter was because laws were broken," he added, declining to specify what the infraction was. "And the possession of a weapon with that law violation caused the officers to escalate their attention onto him.

"They were specifically looking for somebody wanted," Putney said. "That's why they were there."

Putney said that police were trying to serve a warrant on another man in the apartment complex where Scott lived, seeing him in his car.

Officers then spotted marijuana in the car — a new disclosure — that "they weren't focused on," he said. "They saw him with it, until a gun was produced."

Scott, 43, was shot Tuesday by Officer Brentley Vinson, 26, who also is African-American. The death caused widespread demonstrations that turned violent on the first two nights.

Gov. Pat McCrory declared a state of emergency that brought in the National Guard and other reinforcements.

Mayor Jennifer Roberts imposed a curfew that remained in effect on Saturday.

Forty-four people were arrested after Wednesday's protests, and one protester, Justin Carr, 26, who was shot died at a hospital on Thursday.

A 21-year-old Charlotte man was arrested and charged Friday in connection with the death.

Protests, including those on Saturday, have since been largely peaceful. In total, 47 people have been arrested since the unrest began, authorities said.

Putney told reporters that he was releasing certain dash-cam and body-cam video, along with DNA information and other data.

"In the spirit of transparency, you're going to get everything that we can deliver," he said. "Facts, footage and an explanation of where we stand today relative to the investigation."

Not all the video data would be released on Saturday, Putney said, only that covering the initial police encounter through the end of the shooting.

The chief described it as "specific footage that gives you some visual of what is transpiring.

"We're releasing evidence that we believe, based on our fact-finding mission, will give you indisputable evidence that the facts we started with are the facts that remain today."

Putney said that more data would be released after an inquiry by the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation is complete.

McCrory praised the decision on Facebook.

"I concur with the Charlotte police chief's decision to release the tapes," he said. "I have been assured by the State Bureau of Investigation that the release will have no material impact on the independent investigation since most of the known witnesses have been interviewed."

Putney's move came after attorneys for Scott's family released cellphone video Friday taken by the victim's wife, Rakeyia, that raised more questions on whether he had a gun.

The family has contended that Scott did not have a weapon and was carrying a book when he was fatally shot.

Putney denied that the release of the family's video affected his decision. "What is out there, I can't control — nor am I concerned about."

He reiterated, however, that the video his office was making available would not definitely address all the issues in the case.

"The footage itself will not create in anyone's mind absolute certainty as to what this case represents and what the outcome should be," Putney said. "The footage only supports all of the other information: physical evidence, the statements from witnesses and officers — and all of the other information, scientific and physical, that create the entire picture.

"The video footage is insufficient."

Putney did say that neither Vinson nor any other officer would not be charged by his department, though any further action would depend on the outcome of the state agency's investigation.

"If laws were violated, I would be taking different action," he said. "Officers are absolutely not being charged by me at this point."

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Charlotte police will release video of the fatal shooting of an African-American man that has led demonstrators to take to the streets for five days and brought in the National Guard and a state of emergency, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Chief Kerr Putney said Saturday. In...
Charlotte, police, video, shooting, death
Saturday, 24 September 2016 04:49 PM
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