Tags: tim scott | charlotte | police shooting | video | keith lamont scott

Sen. Tim Scott: Immediate Release of Charlotte Shooting Video Will Bring Calm

Image: Sen. Tim Scott: Immediate Release of Charlotte Shooting Video Will Bring Calm

Sen. Tim Scott (SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)

By    |   Thursday, 22 Sep 2016 05:30 PM

The sooner Charlotte police release the video of Tuesday's shooting of an African-American man by police, "hopefully the greater the calm will be," South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott said Thursday.

"The faster the information gets to the surface, the more information that provides clarity, hopefully the greater the calm will be," Scott, the only African-American Republican in the Senate, told Jake Tapper on CNN. "But there is never a reason for violence in response to a situation."

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Chief Kerr Putney said Thursday that the video of the shooting of Keith Lamont Scott, 43, which has touched off two days of unrest in the city, would not be released as "there is a compelling reason" not to do so.

However, Scott's family was expected to see the footage on Thursday.

Putney said Scott was fatally shot after he refused officers' repeated commands to drop a gun, though he added at a news conference Thursday that the video did not definitely show Scott pointing a gun at anyone.

Residents say Scott was unarmed, holding only a book, and disabled by a brain injury.

Sen. Scott, 51, who was elected to the Senate from South Carolina in 2010, said that the Charlotte situation pointed to an even greater need for police body cameras.

"The good news is that if we had a body camera on the officer, there is no question that we would have greater clarity going forward to what actually happened," he told Tapper. "The closer we are to getting body cameras the better off we'll be."

Tapper then noted how authorities in Tulsa fairly immediately released video of last week's shooting of Terence Crutcher, 40, by a white police officer — and how the city was holding prayer vigils compared to riots in Charlotte.

Scott declined to speak to the objectives of police in either city, but added: "It is clear that the Oklahoma situation is, on the surface, significantly worse than the first reports were coming out of Charlotte.

"One of the things that helped in Tulsa and in Charlotte when we've had those situations, is once the video was out, there was an opportunity for the community to come together with law enforcement and create a path going forward.

"Part of the pain and suffering that happens without clarity is people jump to conclusions — and sometimes it's the wrong conclusion."

Scott also commended presidential candidate Donald Trump for clarifying his call for a return to a national stop-and-frisk policy for police.

Trump touted his position in a town hall meeting with Sean Hannity on Fox News. He told "Fox & Friends" Thursday that he was only referring to Chicago, where he said more than 3,000 shootings have occurred this year.

In New York, the practice was ruled unconstitutional by a federal judge in 2013, but was later overturned on appeal. The city has reached a settlement on the issue.

"I am glad he has started the process of walking back those comments," Scott told Tapper. "The reality of it is you don't have to violate the Constitution to keep communities safe.

"We're seeing an increasing and an improvement in quality of life in South Carolina because we've figured out how to work together.

"We still have issues," he added. "We still have challenges, but we're working in the right direction.

"The reality is that you don't have to violate someone's rights to keep the community safe."

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The sooner Charlotte police release the video of Tuesday's shooting of an African-American man by police, "hopefully the greater the calm will be," South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott said Thursday.
tim scott, charlotte, police shooting, video, keith lamont scott
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2016-30-22
Thursday, 22 Sep 2016 05:30 PM
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