Why Isn't Video Of Keith Scott's Shooting Available To The Public? A New Law Prohibits It
A man was shot in a case of mistaken identity in Charlotte, North Carolina, on Tuesday, according to a police report. Keith Lamont Scott, a 43-year-old black man, was fatally shot on Tuesday by Charlotte-Mecklenburg officer Brentley Vinson, who reportedly believed he was shooting a wanted man, according to The Guardian. The shooting caused another surge of protests in North Carolina, with police employing teargas to disperse the crowds of demonstrators. While the family of Scott claim he was simply in his vehicle reading a book, the police have not released video of his shooting to the public as yet.
According to The New York Times, a police spokesman did not respond when asked whether a dashboard or body camera possibly recorded the shooting. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Chief Kerr Putney told reporters in a news conference that Scott was armed when police approached his vehicle outside a Charlotte apartment complex. According to The Guardian, Putney said officers were on scene to deliver a warrant (although it was not made clear what the warrant was for) and mistook Scott for the man they were looking for. Putney said that Scott exited the vehicle with a firearm more than once, despite being warned by police to drop his weapon. Police reportedly shot Scott when they considered him an imminent threat.
Putney told reporters that Vinson did not have a body cam on, and that other possible dahboard cams and body cams would be reviewed. He did not offer to release any video footage, however, citing a law that North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory signed in July which denies public access to police video footage without a judge's orders. Putney did not respond to Romper's request for comment regarding his decision, and the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department also hasn't responded to requests for comment regarding the shooting.
Nut, as reporter Nick Ochsner pointed out in the above tweet, the law isn't supposed to take effect until October. Putney said he feels that releasing the video footage could have a “negative impact on the integrity of the case," according to The New York Daily News.
⚡️ "Keith Scott shooting: What happened in Charlotte last night?"https://t.co/WzBAELytHK— Ami (@ImRealSassy) September 21, 2016
The police department is contending that Scott did, indeed, have a weapon and was a threat. A gun was retrieved at the location. However, family members of Scott assert that he was disabled and was merely holding a book. A woman claiming to be Scott's daughter released a video to Facebook Live from the scene of his shooting. The Scott family plans to call a news conference on Wednesday, according to The Guardian.
Meanwhile, Putney has spoken to reporters about what he says really happened in the shooting, while continuing to withhold video footage of the event, according to The Guardian.
Charlotte Mayor Jennifer Roberts has asked the community to remain calm as local and federal investigations into the shooting continue. Protests that began after Tuesday's shooting became aggressive later in the day, with 12 officers reportedly being injured by demonstrators.
Romper obtained a statement from the office of Chief Putney regarding the shooting of Keith Scott: