Keith Lamont Scott was shot by a black officer in Charlotte in September, but a district attorney announced Wednesday that the officer will face no charges.
District Attorney Andrew Murray said the officer, Brent Vinson, will not be charged for shooting the 43-year-old black man in a parking lot in an apartment complex on Sept. 20, according to USA Today.
“It is my opinion that officer Vinson acted lawfully when he shot Mr. Scott,” Murray said, per USA Today.
“I am fully satisfied and entirely convinced that Brent Vinson’s use of deadly force was lawful,” Murray said, according to the International Business Times. “Anyone is justified for using deadly force if they are in danger of great bodily injury or death.”
According to police, Scott had a handgun in his possession when he was killed, despite body camera footage which didn’t show that Scott was armed at the time of the incident, The New York Times noted.
Murray pointed out — on what he called video evidence — a “semi-automatic” gun in a holster on Scott’s ankle, IBT noted.
Murray said federal law does not require an officer to wait for an individual to fire their weapon before taking action.
“[Scott] did not raise the gun based on evidence and all statements from officers,” Murray conceded, per the IB Times.
In September, the chief of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department, Kerry Putney, said Vinson was “absolutely not being charged by me at this point,” The New York Times noted.
Following the lengthy news conference on Wednesday, Murray released his findings in a report, which detailed his decision not to charge Vinson.
Scott’s family released a statement after Murray’s announcement, the Times noted.
“While we understand that many in the Charlotte area share our frustration and pain, we ask that everyone work together to fix the system that allowed this tragedy to happen in the first place,” the family said in the statement, according to The Times.
“Responding to violence with violence is never an appropriate response,” the family added.
The September shooting took place after two officers in plain clothes determined Scott to be a potential threat to public safety after seeing him with a gun and what looked like a marijuana cigarette, The Times noted.
Officer Vinson said he “perceived Mr. Scott’s actions and movements as an imminent physical threat to himself and the other officers,” the Times noted.
The officer opened fire on Scott, who had left his vehicle and then walked backward with his arms at his sides.
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