Relatives of Keith Lamont Scott, after watching two police videos, said they couldn’t say what was in his hands when he was shot and killed by a Charlotte police officer.”It is impossible to discern from the videos what, if anything, Mr. Scott is holding in his hands,” attorney Justin Bamberg said.
The family wants police to immediately release the videos to the public, Bamberg said.But Charlotte-Mecklenberg police Chief Kerr Putney told reporters earlier Thursday that he’s not going to do that because he doesn’t want to jeopardize the investigation.
Asked whether there was a time at which the public could expect to see it, Putney said there should be no such expectation.”Transparency’s in the eye of the beholder,” he said. “If you think we should display a victim’s worst day for public consumption,that is not the transparency I’m speaking of.”
Putney later told International media thatWolf Blitzer the decision wouldn’t be his to make much longer anyway, as the investigation was being turned over to North Carolina’s State Bureau of Investigation.
Putney said video does not provide “definitive visual evidence” that Scott pointed a gun at police officers, including Brentley Vinson, who shot Scott. But other evidence and witness accounts support the police narrative that officers opened fire only after Scott refused to drop his weapon, he said.
The family says the video shows Scott acting calmly and non-aggressively on Tuesday. “When he was shot and killed, Mr. Scott’s hands were by his side and he was slowly walking backwards,” Bamberg said.
Scott didn’t own a gun or habitually carry a gun, the family has told their attorneys, Bamberg said. Scott’s family has said he was reading a book in his vehicle when officers approached.
Mayor Jennifer Roberts also watched the videos.”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 “Anderson Cooper 360.”
The mayor said she is leaning toward releasing the footage to the public, but must remain mindful of the ongoing investigations into Scott’s shooting.