Family to view police video of shooting
CHARLOTTE, NC (AP):
Charlotte's police chief said yesterday that he plans to show video of an officer shooting a black man to the slain man's family, but the video won't be immediately released to the public.
Charlottte-Mecklenburg Police Chief Kerr Putney has said that 43-year-old Keith Lamont Scott refused officers' repeated commands to drop a gun, but he said during a news conference that the video does not definitely show Scott pointing a gun at anyone.
Putney said he is working to honour the request from the family of Scott to view the video. It is unclear when or if the video will be releasedb to the public.
Priority is the victims
"Right now my priority is the people who really are the victims of the shooting," Putney said. "I'm telling you right now if you think I say we should display a victim's worst day for consumption; that is not the transparency I'm speaking of."
Meanwhile, the state prosecutor in Charlotte will ask the State Bureau of Investigation to look into the shooting.
District Attorney R. Andrew Murray said in a statement Thursday that he was making the request for a state investigation at the request of Scott's family.
The police video could be key to resolving the chasm between police, who say Scott refused repeated commands to drop his gun, and residents who say he was unarmed.
Residents say Scott was unarmed, holding only a book, and was disabled by a brain injury. But it is unclear what the body cameras worn by three officers who present during the shooting may have captured. The plainclothes officer who shot Scott, Brently Vinson, was not wearing a camera. He has been placed on leave, standard procedure in such cases. Vinson is black,
As officials tried to quell the unrest, at least three major businesses were asked their employees to stay home for the day as the city remained on edge. Mayor Jennifer Roberts said earlier on Thursday that the city was considering a curfew.
But Putney said during the news conference that he saw no reason to impose a curfew. He said Charlotte now has more resources to deal with problems, following a declaration of a state of emergency and the arrival of the North Carolina National Guard and more officers from the State Highway Patrol.
A peaceful prayer vigil on Wednesday night turned into an angry march and then a night of violence after a protester was shot and critically wounded as people charged police in riot gear trying to protect an upscale hotel in Charlotte's typically vibrant downtown. Police did not shoot the man, city officials said.