Kerr Putney, chief of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg police, right, and Charlotte Mayor Jennifer Roberts resisted releasing the videos for four days following Tuesday’s shooting.
(Sean Rayford/Getty Images)
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Updated: Saturday, September 24, 2016, 5:05 PM
Charlotte police officials have announced plans to release video of the fatal shooting of Keith Lamont Scott after four days of mounting pressure to do so.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg police chief Kerr Putney said he had come to the decision to release the footage after a conversation with the State Bureau of Investigation, the agency handling the probe into the shooting.
“Now that it won’t impact the investigation, we’re going to do just that,” Putney said at a news conference on Saturday afternoon, adding that the SBI had already interviewed all of the witnesses to the deadly encounter.
North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory announced that he supported Putney’s decision to release the tapes, citing similar reasons.
Keith Lamont Scott was fatally shot by Charlotte, N.C. police on Tuesday.
“I have been assured by the State Bureau of Investigation that the release will have no material impact on the independent investigation since most of the known witnesses have been interviewed,” he said in a release.
The videos, filmed by the dash cam and the body cam belonging to two of the officers at the scene of the shooting, show the moments that led to the 43-year-old black man’s death at the hands of Charlotte-Mecklenburg officer Brentley Vinson. But Putney has said they do not provide “absolute certainty” of whether the shooting was justified. Police officials said they would only release footage that is “relevant” to the shooting.
The footage will be made public following four nights of protests in Charlotte as demonstrators took to the streets and demanded the recordings be released. On Saturday, demonstrators took their protest to the police department chanting “No tapes, no peace.”
Scott’s family viewed the police videos on Thursday but said the tapes left them with more “questions than answers,” regarding whether the shooting was justified.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg officers encountered Scott on Tuesday afternoon in the parking lot of the Village at College Downs apartment complex—they had been on their way to serve a warrant to someone else who lived nearby.
Scott’s family and witnesses said that the 43-year-old father was reading a book in his car while waiting for his son to get off the school bus. But police have said that Scott was brandishing a weapon and ignored multiple commands to drop the firearm before he was shot.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Dept. Police Officer Brentley Vinson, who shot Keith Lamont Scott, is on administrative leave pending an investigation.
(Liberty University Footnall Media Guide)
Putney revealed on Saturday that officers saw Scott with marijuana in his car and that later they noticed he was armed.
“They look in the car and they see the marijuana” and then later “perceived a lethal threat by a handgun,” he said.
Heartwrenching cellphone video shot by his wife did not conclusively prove whether Scott was armed or aiming a weapon at officers. The shooting itself was obscured in her 2-minute 44-second video.
Scott’s wife, Rakeyia Scott, released a cellphone video of the fatal shooting in which she pleads with officers to ‘not shoot.’
On Friday, Putney said he would wait until he had “a compelling reason” to release the videos and felt the videos would further inflame the unrest in the North Carolina city.
Charlotte mayor Jennifer Roberts initially sided with Putney but reversed her stance on Friday, saying she believed the videos should be released.
The State Bureau of Investigation has taken over the probe into whether Vinson, who is also black, was justified in killing Scott.
Protesters raises their fists as they march in the streets of Charlotte, N.C. on Friday.
The Department of Justice did not launch their own investigation into the shooting but sent four peacemaking officers to Charlotte to assist local authorities with the protests.
With News Wire Services