Officer Who Killed Keith Lamont Scott Will Not Be Charged, District Attorney Says

Demonstrators in Charlotte after Scott’s killing. Photo via AP
Demonstrators in Charlotte after Scott’s killing. Photo via AP

Charlotte, North Carolina police officer Brentley Vinson, who shot and killed Keith Lamont Scott in September, will not be charged, the DA’s office announced Wednesday. Scott’s family has said that he was sitting quietly in his car when Vinson approached him. The District Attorney’s Office said today they have concluded Scott was armed when he exited the car and Vinson’s use of deadly force was justified.

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Scott’s killing set off days of anguished protests in Charlotte. Police were at an apartment complex to serve a warrant on a different man when they came across Scott, 43, whose family has said he was reading a book in his car and waiting for his son to get home from school.

Police claimed that Scott exited the car holding a gun when Vinson, a black plainclothes officer, ordered him to get out, and released a photo of a gun they said they recovered from the scene with Scott’s DNA on it, as well as an ankle holster. But dashcam video didn’t clearly show Scott holding the gun.

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Scott’s wife also filmed the shooting: she can be heard at the scene telling the officer that Scott had a brain injury:

RAKEYIA SCOTT: He doesn’t have a gun. He has a T.B.I. (Traumatic Brain Injury).

OFFICER: Drop the gun.

RAKEYIA SCOTT: He is not going to do anything to you guys.

RAKEYIA SCOTT: He just took his medicine.

Mecklenburg County District Attorney Andrew Murray announced Wednesday that charges won’t be filed because a “thorough review” indicated that Vinson “acted lawfully.”

Anna Merlan was a Senior Reporter at G/O Media until September 2019. She's the author of Republic of Lies: American Conspiracy Theorists and Their Surprising Rise to Power.

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DISCUSSION

Guys... if he didn’t want to get shot he shouldn’t have been sitting quietly in the car reading. I mean, he’s kind of asking for it.

Besides, if he wanted to carry around a gun he should have moved to a country that gives Constitutional protections allowing citizens to posses weapons, or moved to a state that specifically allows citizens to legally carry around weapons in the open.

So really it’s his own fault, of course. (I post, dripping with sarcasm.)