Keith Lamont Scott was shot Tuesday afternoon while waiting in his car for his son to come from school.
His family stated that he was reading a book, while Police Chief Kerr Putney asserts that Scott exited his car holding a gun, citing witness reports and evidence. “Officers were giving loud, clear verbal commands. The suspect exited the vehicle with a handgun, threatening officers,” stated Chief Putney. “It’s a tragic event, and my heart goes out to the Scott family for their loss.”
Putney stated that the book was non-existent at the crime scene and that Scott’s shooting has been mistakenly narrated through social media, allowing for another wave of protests to erupt Thursday night.
Another Charlotte shooting sparks protests
Both Chief Putney and Scott’s shooter, Officer Brentley Vinson, are African-American. Acquaintances cite Officer Vinson as a man with morals, who would be unable to preemptively shoot a person while waiting in his car for no apparent reason.
Lyric Scott, one of the victim’s daughters started recording on Facebook Live just after the shooting. Lyric cries throughout the video, complaining that officers shot her father “because he’s black.”
Even when Scott’s family may argue otherwise, Chief Putney stated that police dashcams were able to record critical parts of Scott’s attempt of arrest and his subsequent shooting.
Apparently, Scott ignored Vinson’s commands to drop his weapon and exited the car while holding his gun. Due to controversy, Vinson, who has served Charlotte’s Police Department for over two years, was put on administrative leave as the investigation unfolds and the civic unrest decreases.
Vinson was not wearing a body camera at the moment of the shooting, and the American Civil Liberties Union prompted the police to release the dashcam videos.
Officers did say ‘hands up, don’t shoot’
After Chief Putney’s statements, civil rights activist John Barnett said Scott was only reading a book as he waited for his son to come back from school, although Barnett did not deny that he was carrying a gun.
Barnett suggested that it would not be Scott’s intention to threaten an officer as he was waiting for his son, but if the gun he was carrying was not under a permit then he could have been immediately arrested at the scene.
Scott then could have acted desperately under the pressure that cops may not hesitate to shoot him. 43-year-old Keith Lamont Scott became the sixth person in 2016 to die due to a police shooting in the city of Charlotte, North Carolina, and the 25th in the state.
California has seen 100 shootings this year, Texas 58, and Florida 43. According to analysts, black people are the dominant demographic composing the subjects of searches and use of force by police in Charleston, but the rates are still within the normal range for a city of about 800,000 people.
The shooting of Keith Lamont Scott resulted in the eruption of a riot in the streets of Charlotte on Thursday night. 16 police officers were injured and dozens of stores were looted by enraged civilians.