Charlotte Cop Videos Raise 'More Questions Than Answers'

City is calmer on 3rd night of protests
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 23, 2016 4:45 AM CDT
Updated Sep 23, 2016 6:37 AM CDT
Charlotte Cop Videos Raise 'More Questions Than Answers'
Protesters take to the streets of uptown Charlotte, NC, Thursday during a peaceful march following Tuesday's police shooting of Keith Lamont Scott.   (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)

Relatives of Charlotte man Keith Lamont Scott have seen police body camera videos from the scene of his shooting—and reached a very different conclusion from police. Family attorney Justin Bamberg tells the Charlotte Observer that the family has "more questions than answers" after seeing the videos, which he says shows the 43-year-old calmly walking backward with his hands at his sides. Police Chief Kerr Putney admits that the videos do not provide "definitive" evidence that Scott had a gun, but he says that they're part of a "totality" of evidence that suggests Scott was a threat and the shooting was justified. The latest developments:

  • Bamberg says the videos show Scott remaining calm when police order him out of his vehicle. "While police did give him several commands," he said, "he did not aggressively approach them or raise his hands at members of law enforcement at any time," he says. The attorney says the Scott family wants the videos to be released to the public.

  • Demonstrators chanted "release the tape" during a third night of protests in Charlotte, the AP reports. There was no repeat of the violence seen Tuesday and Wednesday nights in the city, which is under a state of emergency. National Guard members protected buildings Thursday night and police enforced a newly imposed midnight-to-6am curfew.
  • Charlotte Mayor Jennifer Roberts has also seen the police videos and like both police and family members, she says it's impossible to tell what Scott has in his hands. "It is not a very clear picture, and the gun in question is a small gun and it was not easy to see with the way the motion was happening," she told CNN. His family says he was carrying a book and didn't own a gun.
  • Reuters reports that a protester shot in the head by a civilian on Wednesday died on Thursday. At least nine other people were injured Wednesday and early Thursday, and 44 people were arrested.
  • The AP reports that Donald Trump called for an end to the unrest in a speech in suburban Philadelphia Thursday night. "The rioting in our streets is a threat to all peaceful citizens and it must be ended and ended now," he said. "The main victims of these violent demonstrations are law-abiding African-Americans who live in these communities and only want to raise their children in safety and peace."
  • The unrest "literally smashed the facade of some of the city's defining civic institutions," notes the Wall Street Journal, which looks at how Charlotte's businesslike civic identity has been shaken by the disturbances.
(More Charlotte stories.)

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