September 22 2016
Police are refusing to release videos of Keith Lamont Scott’s killing to the public, which his family is criticizing after watching the video themselves.
Protesters in Charlotte, North Carolina, during another night of protests over the police shooting of Keith Lamont Scott, Sept. 22, 2016. | Photo: Reuters
Charlotte, North Carolina issued a curfew starting at midnight Thursday following a third night of anti-police brutality protests after an officer shot a Black man who witnesses and family say was holding a book. A protester that was shot Wednesday night died shortly after the announcement, reported Reuters.
The family of Keith Lamont Scott watched two videos of his killing Thursday evening, leaving them with more questions than answers, they said.
Release the videos
“It was incredibly difficult for members of the Scott family to view these videos, but as a matter of the greater good and transparency, the Scott family asks that the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department publicly immediately release both of the videos they watched today,” the family’s lawyers said in a press release.
Police have resisted pressure to publicly release the videos of Scott, who was killed on Tuesday during a police search for someone else.
Meanwhile, Charlotte Mayor Jennifer Roberts issued the curfew “in order to more effectively protect the lives and property of the people” from midnight to 6 a.m. until the state of emergency is lifted.
Protesters chant, “Release the tapes.”
Scott’s wife and other family members viewed the police body camera and dashboard videos of a Black police officer shooting him dead in the parking lot of an apartment complex, but the family said it still “has more questions than answers.”
“While police did give him several commands, he did not aggressively approach them or raise his hands at members of law enforcement at any time,” Justin Bamberg, an attorney for the family, said in the statement.
“It is impossible to discern from the videos what, if anything, Mr. Scott is holding in his hands,” the statement said, adding that Scott’s hands were by his sides and he was slowly walking backward when he was killed.
Withholding the video from the public
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Chief Kerr Putney has claimed the video supports the police account of what happened but does not definitively show Scott pointing a gun at officers.
Police contend that he was carrying a gun when he approached officers and ignored repeated orders to drop the weapon. His family previously said he was holding a book, not a firearm.
“I never said ‘full transparency.’ I said ‘transparency,’ and transparency’s in the eye of the beholder,” Putney told reporters to explain why he’s withholding the video from the public.
On Wednesday night, at least nine people were injured—one critically—and 44 were arrested amid riots over Scott’s killing.