Bowing to pressure from activists, press and the family of Keith Lamont Scott, the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department released what it is calling the full body and dash camera videos yesterday (October 4).
The department says the 16 minutes of body camera and 39 minutes of dash camera footage are the same videos that the family saw in the days after Officer Brentley Vinson fatally shot the 43-year-old Black man. The department previously released shorter portions of the videos.
In the body camera video, which appears above, there is no sight of a gun, which officer reported as the reason they engaged and subsequently killed Scott. An officer is heard telling another officer at one point, “Stay right here with the gun.” Officers are seen handcuffing Scott, then looking for and applying pressure to bullet entry wounds, which were found in his abdomen, wrist and left shoulder. He moans throughout the video. Ten minutes in, the cuffs are removed and someone starts CPR.
One of the family’s attorneys, Justin Bamberg, says the video does not remove the family’s doubts about the gun officers say they found at the scene. “My belief is if it was in that section near his body, you would have seen it,” he said at a press conference yesterday. “We still don’t know. This video does not shine any light on whether a firearm was in his possession or where it was found.”
The footage released on September 24 showed Scott take four slow steps back with his arms at his sides just before he was shot. There is no sight of a gun. “There’s nothing on these videos that a reasonable person [would conclude] that Keith Scott was trying to harm the officers,” said another attorney for the family, Charles Monnett.
Scott’s family maintains that Scott was reading a book in the car immediately before the incident. Officers say they saw him preparing to smoke marijuana and that he had a weapon in his car. At the request of Scott’s family, the case is being investigated by the State Bureau of Investigation.
(H/T The Charlotte Observer)