Charlotte-Meklenburg police release video of Keith Lamont Scott shooting
By: Kyle West, Xiro Xone News September 24, 2016 Updated: 8:44 PM
Source: Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department
The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department on Saturday released dashcam and bodycam video of the fatal shooting of Keith Lamont Scott, as well as photos of the gun and possible marijuana blunt found on Scott when he died.
In the dashcam video, Scott can be seen exiting his vehicle before officers start firing. Officers are heard saying “drop the gun, drop the gun!” Scott’s wife, Rakeyia Scott, can also be heard saying “he doesn’t have a gun,” which was in the video she released of the shooting.
In the dashcam footage, Scott is shown walking backward outside the vehicle when he was struck by police gunfire.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Statement
There have been numerous unconfirmed reports published in the media concerning this case. The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department has prepared the following case update to provide factual information about the officer-involved shooting.
Two plain clothes officers were sitting inside of their unmarked police vehicle preparing to serve an arrest warrant in the parking lot of The Village at College Downs, when a white SUV pulled in and parked beside of them.
The officers observed the driver, later identified as Mr. Keith Lamont Scott, rolling what they believed to be a marijuana “blunt.” Officers did not consider Mr. Scott’s drug activity to be a priority at the time and they resumed the warrant operation. A short time later, Officer Vinson observed Mr. Scott hold a gun up.
Because of that, the officers had probable cause to arrest him for the drug violation and to further investigate Mr. Scott being in possession of the gun.
Due to the combination of illegal drugs and the gun Mr. Scott had in his possession, officers decided to take enforcement action for public safety concerns. Officers departed the immediate area to outfit themselves with marked duty vests and equipment that would clearly identify them as police officers.
Upon returning, the officers again witnessed Mr. Scott in possession of a gun. The officers immediately identified themselves as police officers and gave clear, loud and repeated verbal commands to drop the gun. Mr. Scott refused to follow the officers repeated verbal commands.
A uniformed officer in a marked patrol vehicle arrived to assist the officers. The uniformed officer utilized his baton to attempt to breach the front passenger window in an effort to arrest Mr. Scott.
Mr. Scott then exited the vehicle with the gun and backed away from the vehicle while continuing to ignore officers’ repeated loud verbal commands to drop the gun. Officer Vinson perceived Mr. Scott’s actions and movements as an imminent physical threat to himself and the other officers. Officer Vinson fired his issued service weapon, striking Mr. Scott. Officers immediately rendered first aid and requested Medic to respond to the scene.
Homicide Unit Detectives interviewed multiple independent civilian witnesses at the scene and at police headquarters. Those witnesses confirmed that officers gave numerous loud verbal commands for Mr. Scott to drop the weapon and also confirmed that at no time did Mr. Scott comply with their commands.
A lab analysis conducted of the gun crime scene investigators recovered at the scene revealed the presence of Mr. Scott’s DNA and his fingerprints on the gun. It was also determined that the gun Mr. Scott possessed was loaded at the time of the encounter with the officers. The investigation also revealed that Mr. Scott was wearing an ankle holster at the time of the event.
Attached are photos of the gun, ankle holster and marijuana “blunt” in Mr. Scott’s possession at the time of the incident. Additionally, links to the portion of the digital mobile video recorder (dash-cam) and body worn camera footage that capture the time of the shooting are included below.
The body worn camera illustrates the footage from the moment it was turned on until officers began rendering first aid to Mr. Scott
The dash-cam footage is from the time in which the officer operating the car with the dash-cam video arrives on the scene until officers began rendering first aid to Mr. Scott.
Chief Kerr Putney said that Scott drew the attention of officers who were trying to serve
an arrest warrant on an unrelated suspect at the Village at College Downs apartment complex in University City because they saw him rolling marijuana in his vehicle.
Police were going to let it go and continue on their original mission until an officer spotted a weapon in the vehicle, Putney said.
“It was not lawful for him to possess a firearm,” Putney said. “There was a crime he committed and the gun exacerbated the situation.”
Officer Brentley Vinson, who Putney said fired four shots at Scott, was not wearing a body cam, so his visual perspective was not part of the footage. Putney said that body cameras are being rolled out across the department and not all tactical officers have them yet.
Putney said the footage supports the larger weight of evidence in the case, which includes accounts from officers at the scene, forensics and interviews with witnesses.
He said he has found nothing to indicate that Vinson acted inappropriately, given the totality of the circumstances, and he does not think his officers broke the law that day.
They were, he said, reacting to what appeared to be an imminent threat.
“At every encounter, people can make a decision to follow lawful, loud verbal commands and avert some things like this,” he said.
The family members of Keith Scott said they still have more questions than answers.
“It does not make sense to us how this incident led to loss of life,” said Scott’s brother-in-law, Ray Dotch, who spoke at a press conference called by the Scott family after the videos were released. “He was an American citizen and he deserved better.”
Lawyers for the Scott family said the videos do not clearly identify what, if anything, Scott had in his hands. CMPD said he was holding a handgun, but the family believes he was unarmed, the lawyers said.