A North Carolina police chief has announced he has decided to release police bodycam and dash cam video footage of Tuesday’s police shooting of a black man in Charlotte.
Yielding to mounting pressure from protesters, community activists and relatives of Keith Lamont Scott, the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department on today released dashcam and bodycam footage showing the officer-involved shooting that left Scott dead.
The release of the footage came four days after the shooting, a period marked by violent protests that led the North Carolina governor to declare a state of emergency and prompted city officials to institute a curfew.
To accompany the video, police also issued a “case update” on Saturday. It is published below, in its entirety.
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There have been numerous unconfirmed reports published in the media concerning this case. The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department has prepared the foll,owing 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.
(c) 2016, The Washington Post · Sarah Larimer