Keith Lamont Scott’s wife released a video Friday showing the circumstances leading up to his shooting death at the hands of a Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department officer and the immediate aftermath. But it wasn’t able to answer the questions so many in Charlotte have.
As the uncertainty continued, protesters marched for the fourth straight evening. But for the second day, demonstrations remained peaceful as they wound through Uptown. CMPD initially reported no injuries, arrests or tear gas used. Later, they updated it to 11 people arrested — most of them curfew violations for protesters not wanting to leave after 3 a.m.
How we got here
The unrest began Tuesday when 43-year-old Keith Lamont Scott, who is black, was shot and killed by a police officer while near his home in north Charlotte. Police said he had a gun and was a threat to officers. Scott’s family said he didn’t have a gun and was waiting to pick up his kids from school. The officer who pulled the trigger was identified as Officer Brentley Vinson, who is also black.
Protests Tuesday and Wednesday night were violent and left numerous police officers injured and led to more than 40 arrests. One protester was shot and later died. CMPD said the shot came from a civilian, not an officer.
[Agenda story: Protests turned chaotic and violent Uptown on Wednesday night]
The National Guard was brought in on Thursday, and protests remained peaceful with a few minor incidents.
Here’s what happened Friday.
Keith Scott’s wife released a video she took showing what happened before and after the shooting.
In the heartbreaking cellphone video, you can hear Rakeyia Scott plead with officers not to shoot her husband before several loud shots directed at Keith Scott to drop his gun. Rakeyia Scott responds that he does not have a gun and has a traumatic brain injury for which he just took medicine. The video does not depict the shooting or give a clear view of what Keith Scott was doing.
You can watch the video here. There is graphic violence and language.
There were more calls to release police video of the shooting.
While the officer who fired the fatal shot was not wearing a body camera, according to police, several other uniformed officers at the scene were. Charlotte leaders tried Friday to explain why the video has not yet been released despite that being the plea from protesters and Keith Scott’s family.
- CMPD Chief Kerr Putney said he has decided to withhold the video until more evidence could be gathered to put the video into context. He said the video alone does not rise to the level of probable cause that a crime was committed. “My job is to make sure I don’t do any more damage,” he said.
- Mayor Jennifer Roberts said Friday she has seen two videos of the shooting and that they are “inconclusive.” She said Keith Scott is holding something in his hand in the video, but it is difficult to determine what it is. “I do believe the video should be released, the question is the timing,” she said.
- Gov. Pat McCrory said it is important to respect the process of law and to protect people’s constitutional rights.
The campaign of Democratic gubernatorial candidate Roy Cooper, who is also the state’s attorney general, put out a statement calling for the video to be released. Cooper heads the state Department of Justice, but not the SBI — which was moved under Gov. Pat McCrory’s administration in 2014.
Police arrested a suspect in the shooting of a protester Uptown on Wednesday.
Justin Carr, 26, was shot while taking part in the demonstrations outside the Omni Hotel at College and Trade on Wednesday. He died at the hospital the next day.
CMPD charged 21-year-old Rayquan Borum in the shooting, according to the department. Jail records show charges of first-degree murder and possession of a weapon by a felon. Chief Putney said Friday morning that it was unknown if the two knew each other.
Police disclosed a list of who was arrested during the protests.
Of the 45 arrests listed, 33 of the people taken into custody were from Charlotte — contrary to unsubstantiated media reports that 70 percent of people arrested were from out of state.
Five more people were from other cities in North Carolina (Albemarle, Greensboro, Lawndale and Raleigh), two were from South Carolina (Rock Hill and Orangeburg), one each from Georgia and Florida and three unconfirmed.
The curfew is still in effect, and the National Guard is sticking around.
A midnight to 6 a.m. curfew will remain in place, Mayor Roberts said. Gov. McCrory also said that the National Guard will remain deployed in Charlotte through the weekend.
Panthers game is still planned for Sunday as normal.
Chief Putney said he was confident in the police department’s ability to maintain safety. Activist group True Healing Under God said they plan to have about 100 people outside Bank of America stadium to peacefully demonstrate.