A woman who claimed to be the daughter of Keith Lamont Scott—the African-American man who was shot Tuesday by a black officer in Charlotte—said in an instantly viral Facebook Live video that her father was holding a book, not a gun. Police, however, say otherwise. Not only was Scott holding a gun, he refused to put it down at their clear orders, and moved toward the officers. Now an image of what sources have confirmed to be the gun Scott was wielding has surfaced, while a local news channel says they can now confirm that dash camera footage shows Scott holding a weapon and coming at officers before being shot.
Here is the image of what is reported to be the gun Scott was holding at the scene of the crime:
Charlotte news station WSCO reported Wednesday that they have confirmed with sources that police dash camera footage corroborates the Charlotte PD's description of the fatal encounter with Scott.
"A Charlotte, North Carolina news station says it has confirmed with sources that there is dash camera video that shows Keith Scott getting out of a car and coming at police officers with a gun in his hand," reports Charlotte's KWCH12.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Chief Kerr Putney told reporters that Scott was only shot after he exited the vehicle holding a gun, refused to drop that gun after police ordered him to do so—a fact Charlotte PD says the testimony of multiple witnesses has confirmed—and was thus justifiably shot as police deemed him to be a threat.
"I can tell you a weapon was seized, a handgun. I can also tell you, we did not find a book, that has been made reference too," said Putney. "I can just tell you what I know based on what we've gathered through the scientific process of going through the evidence."
According to WSOC, Charlotte police want to make the dash camera footage available but are restricted by law due to the ongoing investigation.
On Friday, the wife of Keith Scott released cell phone footage (below) she took of the incident, which does not provide an angle showing whether or not her husband was holding a firearm. Though she tells the officers he does not have a gun, officers can be heard telling him to drop his weapon. She also yells, "Keith, don't you do it. Don't you do it, Keith!" before the police fire.
On Saturday Chief Putney released police dashboard and body camera footage (below) that mostly aligns with Charlotte PD's account of the fatal incident. The resolution from the videos is not enough to prove definitively that he was holding a weapon; however, police say they have found Scott's fingerprints on the gun they recovered from the scene. Like the cell phone footage, the video also recorded officers repeatedly telling Scott to drop the gun. Claims (like that made by WSCO) suggesting that he was moving toward officers, however, appear to be disproved, as he is clearly stepping backward when he is shot.
The police department also revealed more details of the encounter on Saturday, including that Scott first drew officers' attention when they noticed him rolling marijuana in his vehicle. They were going to let the crime go until one officer spotted his handgun. That's when the ultimately fatal confrontation began.
The Charlotte Observer provides the following detailed summary of the video evidence provided Saturday by Charlotte PD:
Video footage released Saturday shows Keith Lamont Scott taking four steps slowly backward with his arms at his sides when he is hit in a burst of four gunshots from police, then crumples to the pavement.
From neither vantage point – a police dashboard camera and a body camera worn by one of the officers on the scene – can it be determined whether Scott is holding a gun.
But police can be heard repeatedly shouting “Drop the gun!” at the 43-year-old Scott, who died from his wounds Tuesday as his wife stood nearby.
In the dashboard video, a police SUV can be seen pulling into the parking lot where Scott’s white SUV is parked. An officer in a red shirt is visible pointing his weapon at Scott’s vehicle, whose tinted windows are up.
In a deadly tableau lasting about three seconds, Scott, surrounded by officers at varying distances, then opens his door, steps out, turns and walks backward, hands at his side. Four shots are heard and he falls.
In neither video is the resolution good enough to show whether Scott was holding a weapon. Nor does either show the officer firing at him.
A body cam on another officer at the scene shows Scott emerging from the SUV, then lying in the parking lot seconds later. Police handcuff him while Scott’s wife can be heard yelling at police, “He better be alive!”
Here is the footage released by Charlotte PD Saturday (warning: graphic):
And here is the image of Scott's gun at the crime scene released by police Saturday:
Despite the mounting in support of Charlotte PD's description of the shooting as justified, rioters continued on Wednesday to destroy private property, terrorize and injure citizens, and attack cops. Police said that one protester was shot by another citizen on Wednesday and is now in critical condition on life support (warning: graphic):
Rioters have engaged in racial targeting, as this disturbing footage from a Charlotte parking garage shows:
Reporters have also found themselves the victims of violence:
Over a dozen officers were injured in the riots as well as dozens of citizens, while multiple businesses have been vandalized and looted. The situation escalated to the point that North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory issued a state of emergency and mobilized the National Guard.