Police have finally released the body and dash cam footage of the shooting of Keith Scott. From these videos, can you see any reason for the shooting? Should the officer tried non lethal methods first?
Police have finally released the unedited dashcam and bodycam videos of the Keith Lamont Scott shooting, which show him slowly walking backward out of his car before being shot by police.
Neither videos show Scott pointing a gun at police or raising a weapon. It also shows Scott making no sudden movements.
The dashcam video shows Scott exiting his car after about 50 seconds of filming. He slowly takes four steps backwards with his hands at his side.
Officers are clearly heard in a previous video posted by Scott’s wife shouting ‘Drop the gun’, but it unclear from the released video if a gun is in Scott’s hand.
Four shots ring out and he collapses to the ground.
Police also released information and pictures of what appears to be a Colt Mustang 380 handgun, which officers said Scott kept in an ankle holster.
The Charlotte police department claimed that Mr Scott was ‘an imminent physical threat’ because he was refusing to obey commands to put his gun down.
The bodycam video, which is not on officer Brentley Vinson who fired the four fatal shots, shows an unidentified officer approaching the back of Scott’s white vehicle.
Another officer is visible holding a gun and the officer wearing the camera begins banging on the passenger-side window of Scott’s vehicle with a baton.
Scott is visible for a brief second by his car door after exiting his vehicle.
No audio is heard until 23 seconds into the clip when the officer wearing the body-cam approaches Scott, who has already been shot and is lying face-down on the ground.
Groans from Scott are clearly audible. He is then handcuffed while still motionless on the ground.
Blood can be seen running over his knuckles as officers swarm around him.
An officer can be heard saying: ‘I’m going to get my bag and start getting some (medical) equipment.’
Another officer says: ‘We need to hold the wound.’
The two videos last a total of three and a half minutes.
It is unclear how the officers knew Scott had a gun while he was sitting in his vehicle with his windows up.
It is also unclear how officers knew Scott was smoking marijuana if his windows were rolled up while he was inside his vehicle.
During a family press conference held after the release of the video, the Scott family said none of the videos prove Keith Scott was holding a gun.
His brother-in-law Ray Dotch said after seeing the police footage ‘unfortunately we are left with far more questions than we have answers’.
‘We shouldn’t have to humanize him for him to be treated fairly. He’s an American citizen who deserved better.
‘It does not make sense to us how this incident resulted in the loss of life,’ Dotch said.
Justin Bamberg, the family’s lawyer, also said: ‘The dash cam or the body cam, you can’t clearly identify what, if anything, is in his hand, and that has not changed.’
The family also said they believe the Charlotte police might need better training policies and education on how to deescalate situations like the one involving Scott.
Dotch asked why the police didn’t listen to Scott’s wife when she said he had a traumatic brain injury and allow her to help deescalate the situation.
Police chief Kerr Putney said earlier in a press conference the footage released explains ‘the absolute facts’ of the shooting, and that Scott had both marijuana and a weapon on him.
‘These are the specific footage that gives you some visual of what has transpired,’ Chief Putney told reporters.
‘There was a compelling reason for them to make this encounter, it was beyond having a gun… he absolutely was in possession of a gun.
‘There was a crime that he committed that caused the encounter, and the gun exasperated that.’
He added that: ‘When you’re in possession of marijuana and you have a gun that’s a public safety issue.