Family releases video of Charlotte shooting

The couple in happier times. Mr Scott's family has viewed police footage of the incident and is leading calls for it to be made public. A screenshot from the video taken by Mr Scott's wife Rakeyia. It captures the dramatic moments surrounding the sho
A screenshot from the video taken by Mr Scott's wife Rakeyia. It captures the dramatic moments surrounding the shooting of her husband in Charlotte, North Carolina, last Tuesday.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE
The couple in happier times. Mr Scott's family has viewed police footage of the incident and is leading calls for it to be made public. A screenshot from the video taken by Mr Scott's wife Rakeyia. It captures the dramatic moments surrounding the sho
The couple in happier times. Mr Scott's family has viewed police footage of the incident and is leading calls for it to be made public.PHOTO: FACEBOOK PAGE

Footage doesn't capture shooting itself but pressures police to make theirs public

CHARLOTTE (North Carolina) • The family of the African-American man whose death has triggered days of unrest in Charlotte, North Carolina, has released dramatic video of the police shooting, raising pressure on the authorities to make their own footage public.

Police have refused to release body-cam and dashcam videos of last Tuesday's shooting, which they say show Mr Keith Lamont Scott, 43, posed a threat to officers.

His death is the latest in a string of police-related killings of black men that have fuelled outrage across the United States.

North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory declared a state of emergency in the southern US city after it was rocked by violence-marred protests.

Several hundred demonstrators were out again for a fourth night last Friday calling for the release of the videos amid a greater presence of National Guard troops.

A curfew beginning at midnight (noon, Singapore time) went into effect for a second night, after protesters defied the order last Thursday.

Hundreds of demonstrators were also marching in the southern city of Atlanta in a protest calling for police reform organised by the NAACP, the black community's main civil rights organisation.

  • Dramatic footage

  • Excerpt from the 2min 16sec cellphone video filmed by Mrs Rakeyia Scott.

    POLICE OFFICER: Drop the gun. Drop the gun.

    RAKEYIA SCOTT: He doesn't have a gun. He has a TBI (traumatic brain injury).

    OFFICER: Drop the gun.

    SCOTT: He is not going to do anything to you guys. He just took his medicine.

    OFFICER: Drop the gun. Let me get a (expletive) baton over here.

    SCOTT: Keith, don't let them break the windows. Come on out the car.

    OFFICER: (muffled) Drop the gun.

    SCOTT: Keith! Don't you do it.

    OFFICER: Drop the gun.

    SCOTT: Keith, get out the car. Keith! Keith! Don't you do it! Don't you do it! Keith!

    OFFICER: Drop the gun.

    SCOTT: Keith! Keith! Keith! Don't you do it!

    (Four quick gunshots are heard. Moments later, the video shows Mr Keith Scott lying face down on the asphalt surrounded by police officers.)

    SCOTT: Did you shoot him? Did you shoot him? He better not be (expletive) dead.

Mr Scott was shot and killed at a Charlotte apartment complex during an encounter with police searching for another person wanted for arrest.

Police say he had a handgun. His family says he was holding a book.

The two-minute smartphone footage filmed by Mr Scott's wife Rakeyia and released by her lawyers does not show the shooting itself - and does not conclusively answer the question of whether he was armed - but captures the moments surrounding it as she pleads with officers not to open fire.

It is also unclear whether police, a short distance away, could hear her speaking.

Mr Scott's family has viewed the police footage and is leading calls for it to be made public.

Mayor Jennifer Roberts told reporters the video should eventually be released - but that doing so too soon could interfere with the probe by leading witnesses to change their accounts.

The police, too, say premature release of the video might interfere with a parallel state investigation.

"If I were to put it out indiscriminately and it does not give you good context, it can inflame the situation," Charlotte-Mecklenburg police chief Kerr Putney argued.

Charlotte's handling of the case contrasts sharply with a similar police shooting last week involving an African-American man in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

There, the video was released and the white officer involved charged with first-degree manslaughter.

Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton postponed a visit to Charlotte on Friday after the mayor asked both major candidates to delay visits, citing "very stretched resources for security".

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on September 25, 2016, with the headline 'Family releases video of Charlotte shooting'. Print Edition | Subscribe