The public has now seen the harrowing videos depicting the shooting death of Keith Lamont Scott, and heard the police’s version of events of what happened Tuesday in north Charlotte. Still, so many questions remain. A primary one: Where do we go from here?
As the days have worn on, the ranks of protesters taking to Uptown streets each night have dwindled. The formal midnight to 6 a.m. curfew has been lifted. Broken windows have been boarded up. Most employees will report as usual Monday morning.
But things are far from settled. Though the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department has said it won’t bring charges against Officer Brentley Vinson, who fired the shots that killed Scott, the State Bureau of Investigation will continue looking into the incident. The N.C. NAACP is calling for a federal investigation as well. The family of Keith Scott is still weighing its legal options.
How the incident has changed the city is yet to be determined.
[Read our prior coverage of the shooting of Keith Lamont Scott here.]
What’s in the videos?
The biggest development of the weekend came Saturday, when CMPD released the videos about an hour after a press conference in which Chief Kerr Putney offered significantly more details on what led to the fatal encounter with Scott.
The most illustrative video comes from the dashcam of a police car on the scene. You can see Scott exit his car and take several slow steps backward with his hands by his sides before four shots were fired. You cannot tell if Scott has anything in his hands, and you cannot see where Officer Brentley Vinson, who police say fired the shots, is standing. If you wish, you can view the footage here. [GRAPHIC]
The second video, taken from an officer’s body camera, shows police banging a baton on the passenger side of Scott’s vehicle before Scott emerges from the car. An officer’s head blocks the view of the shooting. You can view that video here. [GRAPHIC]
The police department also released a lengthy version of events. Here’s what the police said:
- While waiting to serve a warrant on somebody else, two plainclothes police officers in an unmarked car observed Scott in his nearby car rolling a marijuana blunt, police said. They initially did not believe it to be a priority.
- Officers said they later saw him hold up a gun and decided to engage. “When you are in possession of marijuana and have a gun, that is a public safety issue our officers are going to address,” Putney said.
- Police left the scene and put on duty vests to identify themselves as officers, CMPD said.
- After they returned, Scott did not comply with loud verbal orders from police and posed a threat, police said.
- CMPD released photos of a gun, blunt and holster they report were recovered from the scene.
- Putney said he would “absolutely not” be bringing charges against the officers involved, though there is an SBI investigation ongoing.
The National Guard remained deployed in Charlotte over the weekend. Protesters demonstrated Uptown throughout Saturday and ahead of the Carolina Panthers game on Sunday.
What to watch for
The N.C. NAACP will rally at Marshall Park at 6 p.m. Monday to call for the federal investigation.