Charlotte police share dashcam and bodycam footage of the shooting and killing of Keith Lamont Scott by Officer Brentley Vinson.
Charlotte police released dashcam and bodycam footage of the police shooting of Keith Lamont Scott today (Sept. 24). The decision to share the footage with the public comes three days after the incident, when Scott was shot and killed by Officer Brentley Vinson. The department also released a photo of the gun that was reported to be on Scott's person at the time of his death.
Four shots can be heard in the newly released dashcam video, which shows a red-shirted officer pointing his gun at Scott's white SUV. The shots ring out about three seconds after Scott opens his car door and exits the vehicle. He appears to be in the process of walking backwards, with his hands at his sides, before he falls upon getting shot.
The released portion of the bodycam footage shows Scott momentarily standing outside of the SUV, the door still open, before falling to the ground, where officers quickly rush to surround him. Scott's wife can be heard yelling, "He better be alive!" while he's being put in handcuffs.
None of the footage shared by police contains visual proof of Scott carrying a gun, and it doesn't allow one to see an officer firing a weapon. Police Chief Putney maintains that the video shows no "absolute, definitive visual evidence" that Scott was holding a weapon, though he believes the physical evidence proves he was "absolutely" in possession of a handgun.
Officers initially noticed Scott while in the parking lot of an apartment complex they had been sent to in order to give an arrest warrant to an unrelated suspect. They first saw that Scott was allegedly rolling a marijuana "blunt" in his vehicle, which they decided to ignore, only choosing to pursue him after Vinson reports to have seen him holding up a gun.
"It is impossible to discern from the videos what, if anything, Mr. Scott is holding in his hands," said Justin Bamberg, an attorney for Scott's family. Bamberg believes the video makes it clear that Scott exited his vehicle "in a very calm, non-aggressive manner."
The gun seen in the photo shared today by police reportedly contains traces of Scott's DNA and fingerprints, upon lab analysis. Police also shared photos of an ankle holster and of the blunt that first made them aware of Scott's presence.
Chief Putney stated that his department chose not to release the footage until now in an effort to "protect the integrity of the investigation." "I have been assured by the State Bureau of Investigation that the release will have no material impact on the independent investigation since most of the known witnesses have been interviewed," said Governor Pat McCrory.
Scott's killing has incited peaceful protests as well as violent acts of rioting in Charlotte. North Carolina Governor McCrory declared a state of emergency (yet to be lifted) for the city two nights (Sept. 21) after Scott's death. A curfew of 12AM to 6AM, also still ongoing, was enacted the following night.
Watch the police-shared footage of the shooting of Scott below. WARNING GRAPHIC CONTENT: