No Charges In Police Shooting Of Keith Lamont Scott

The police officer who fatally shot Keith Lamont Scott in Charlotte, NC, last September won't face charges, The Associated Press reported. According to District Attorney Andrew Murray of Mecklenburg County, Officer Brentley Vinson's actions were justified. Scott's family has said that he was unarmed. However, a firearm was recovered at the scene. During a press conference on Wednesday, Murray also showed the surveillance video of a nearby store, which seemed to show Scott's right ankle and the outline of a gun in a holster. "It is my opinion that Officer Vinson acted lawfully when he shot Mr. Scott," Murray said, according to NBC News. "He acted lawfully."
Update September 24, 2016, 5:45 p.m.: Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Chief Kerr Putney announced in a press conference that dashcam and body cam video of the department's interaction with and shooting of Scott will be released, The Associated Press reports. Putney maintained that Scott "absolutely" had a gun that he refused to drop during the incident.
"At every encounter, people can make a decision to follow loud, verbal commands. They (officers) were reacting to what they saw and they have a duty to do so," Putney said.
Update September 22, 2016, 8:30 p.m.: Protests continued in Charlotte as the populace called for the release of the tape of Keith Lamont Scott's killing. Mayor Jennifer Roberts initiated a curfew from midnight until 6 a.m. on September 23. The National Guard have been deployed to keep the peace. Chants of "release the tape" rang out as protesters briefly blocked an intersection in downtown Charlotte, according to CBS.
Scott's family has viewed the tape, but found it inconclusive. The family says that Scott was holding a book, the police say he had a gun. "It is impossible to discern from the videos what, if anything, Mr. Scott is holding in his hands," Scott family attorney Justin Bamberg told CNN. Police Chief Kerr Putney said that he wouldn't release the tape so as not to jeopardize the ongoing investigation. He also said that the tape does not present conclusive evidence that Scott pointed a gun at police. The investigation will soon be turned over to North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation, he told CNN. The family tells CNN that they believe the tape will vindicate Scott. "When he was shot and killed, Mr. Scott's hands were by his side and he was slowly walking backwards," Bamberg said in a statement. Protester Justin Carr, the man shot in the head in an incident of civilian-on-civilian violence, has died. Charlotte-Mecklenburg police have opened a homicide investigation into his case.

President Obama
urged that the protests be peaceful in his statement. Hillary Clinton called the shootings "unbearable" and urged togetherness while a solution to police violence is found.
Update: September 21, 2016, 11:45 p.m.: The violent Charlotte protests raged on as one person was shot and is in critical condition. Earlier, the City reported that he had died, but amended their report to indicate the he was still alive. The police were quick to say that they had not used live ammunition, and that this was protester-on-protester violence. One police officer sustained minor injuries. No arrest numbers have yet been reported.
Embattled North Carolina governor Pat McCrory declared a state of emergency and began efforts to deploy the National Guard and highway patrol.
Mayor Jennifer Roberts, speaking to CNN's Don Lemon on the phone, urged protesters to return to their homes. She made it clear that the majority of the protest was peaceful and only a small number of people were violent. "Go home and tell everyone violence is not the answer. The investigation is ongoing, it will be transparent," she said. Many protesters dispersed when the police fired tear gas around 11 p.m. local time.
The protests began at 7 p.m. local time as a prayer vigil, before turning into a march which eventually turned violent. The protesters cursed at bicycle-mounted police as they moved through intersections, according to a CBS report.
Update: September 21, 2016, 9:50 p.m.: Charlotte protests turned deadly as they continued for a second night. Police Chief Putney confirmed that a person had been shot and killed during the protests. The City of Charlotte says that the killing was civilian-on-civilian, and that the police have not fired a live round. The protests stem from the police killing of Keith L. Scott, a Black man. Again, police fired tear gas at demonstrators as the assembled threw projectiles in an effort to damage vehicles or the police. Protesters and police clashed near the Omni Hotel after a peaceful march through downtown Charlotte, according to a CNN report. A New York Times reporter captured the scene, which she says included pepper spray and tear gas from the police.
Video sho
Video showed the police telling people to leave the site of the protest, no matter their purpose.
A reporter was bumped to the ground during his news report.

Update: September 21, 2016, 6:45 p.m.:
Charlotte Police Chief Kerr Putney said that the police found a gun, and not a book, on the site where Keith Lamont Scott was shot, The New York Times reports.
“He did have a weapon when he exited the vehicle,” Chief Putney said at a news conference. “Officers were giving loud, clear verbal commands. The suspect exited the vehicle with a handgun, threatening officers.” "It's time to change the narrative because I can tell you from the facts that the story's a little bit different as to how it's been portrayed so far, especially through social media," Putney said at the press conference.
Regardless of what Scott held, protesters still flooded the streets. People blocked I-85 and removed the cargo from a tractor-trailer before setting it on fire, according to Putney. Protesters also threw rocks at the police, injuring 16 and damaging police vehicles. The police used tear gas to break up the protests, and made one arrest. Putney emphasized that while the protests began peacefully, police were compelled to take action when the protests became violent.
This article was originally published on September 20, 2016.
Charlotte Police shot and killed a Black man while searching for a wanted person on Tuesday. Keith Lamont Scott, 43, exited his vehicle and was shot by Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officer Brentley Vinson, who is also Black. Witnesses say that Scott was unarmed and had a disability. Scott was not the person the police were searching for. This just days after Terence Crutcher, another unarmed Black man, was shot and killed outside his stalled vehicle by police "Police said they were searching for someone who had an outstanding warrant at The Village at College Downs complex on Old Concord Road when they saw a man with a gun leave a vehicle," The Charlotte Observer writes. Police said that the man “posed an imminent deadly threat to the officers, who subsequently fired their weapon striking the subject,” in a statement provided to the Observer. “The officers immediately requested Medic and began performing CPR.” His family, however, says that Scott couldn't have posed a threat. Scott's daughter, identified on Facebook as Lyric YourAdorable Scott, used Facebook Live to broadcast the aftermath of the shooting. She said that her father was disabled. He was reportedly married and had seven children. “The police just shot my daddy four times for being black,” she says at the beginning of the video. “They Tased him first and then shot him.”
Scott's brother and sister both spoke to the media. Scott's brother says he was waiting for his daughter, reading a book. He further says that the officers were in plainclothes. Charlotte police have neither confirmed nor denied that statement.
Scott's sister says he didn't have a gun.
Brentley Vinson, the officer who shot Scott, has been placed on paid administrative leave pending a full investigation per department policy, a police press release says.

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