The family of Keith Lamont Scott has now seen the dashboard and body camera footage that Charlotte police Chief Kerr Putney is reluctant to release, leaving them with “more questions than answers.”
A statement provided by their lawyer Justin Bamberg Thursday afternoon on behalf of the family urged protesters to do so peacefully while also urging the CMPD to publicly release the footage for the sake of transparency.
The matter of what actually happened and whether or not Scott had a gun when he was shot Tuesday afternoon is still up for debate. Initially, police accounts reported that Scott exited the vehicle holding a weapon, but Chief Putney said in a press conference earlier today that the video does not “definitively” show Scott holding a weapon. Despite the “definitive” lack of weapon, police maintain that Scott ignored commands to drop his weapon.
It feels patently ridiculous to suggest that a person drop something they supposedly weren’t holding in the first place and then to use their inattention to that command as a reason to open fire, but the police are insistent on keeping the footage out of the public eye while the investigation continues.
However, Scott’s family viewed the footage from the dash and body cams Thursday, providing an interpretation of the incident that could very easily be corroborated by anyone with eyes if only the footage were to be released.
When told by police to exit his vehicle, Mr. Scott did so in a very calm, non-aggressive manner.
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.
It is impossible to discern from the videos what, if anything, Mr. Scott is holding in his hands.
When he was shot and killed, Mr. Scott’s hands were by his side and he was slowly walking backwards.
Prior to the Scott family viewing the footage, Bamberg said “My understanding is that his wife saw him get shot and killed. That’s something she will never, ever forget.”
The protests Thursday night have been peaceful and conducted under the watchful eye of local police and the National Guard.