While the Charlotte police chief refuses to release dash cam and body cam videos of the recent fatal shooting, the victim’s wife released her cellphone footage of the incident on Friday. Although police claim that her husband had been armed, the cellphone video does not appear to show him carrying a weapon.
Around 4 p.m. on Tuesday, Charlotte police officers arrived at Keith Lamont Scott’s apartment complex in order to serve a warrant for another person in the building. Stepping outside to give her husband a cellphone charger, Scott’s wife, Rakeyia Scott, suddenly noticed several officers surrounding her husband’s vehicle.
Parked in the visitor’s space, Scott was reportedly sitting in his pickup truck waiting for his son to return home from school. According to his wife’s cellphone video, Rakeyia told the officers that her husband did not have a gun as they continued aiming their weapons at him.
“Don’t shoot him,” Rakeyia told the officers.
“Drop the gun,” a cop yelled at Scott.
“He didn’t do anything,” Rakeyia informed them.
“Drop the gun. Drop the gun,” the officer repeated.
“He doesn’t have a gun. He has a T.B.I. (Traumatic Brain Injury),” Rakeyia explained from a distance. “He is not going to do anything to you guys. He just took his medicine.”
After asking for a baton, one of the officers can be heard breaking a window moments before they opened fire on Scott. Rakeyia turned the camera away as the officers unleashed a volley of bullets at her husband.
Although the police initially claimed that Scott had been armed, the footage does not seem to show any weapons near Scott’s body. According to his family, Scott had been reading a book in his truck before the incident occurred.
Despite the fact that Charlotte Police Chief Kerr Putney has refused to release police footage of the fatal shooting to the public, attorneys representing Scott’s family have viewed a dash cam video and body cam video of the incident. After watching the videos, one of the attorneys, Justin Bamberg, said Scott appeared “confused” while exiting his truck.
“He doesn’t make any dramatic movements,” Bamberg told The New York Times. Scott reportedly took a couple steps forward “in a nonaggressive manner” when the officers opened fire.
During a news conference on Friday, Chief Putney once again reiterated why his department continues to suppress the police footage.
“If I were to put it out indiscriminately, and it doesn’t give you good context, it can inflame the situation and make it even worse,” Putney stated. “It will exacerbate the backlash. It will increase the distrust. So that is where discernment, judgment, and reasonableness have to come in.”
In contrast, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton took to Twitter on Friday and posted, “Charlotte should release police video of the Keith Lamont Scott shooting without delay. We must ensure justice & work to bridge divides.”