Keith Lamont Scott (1973-2016), a disabled Black American man, married with seven children, was killed by police in Charlotte, North Carolina. That was at 3.54pm on Tuesday September 20th 2016. It comes right on top of news of the killing of Terence Crutcher in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Police say Scott was armed, his family says not and they seem very certain of it.
Every day Scott waited for his son to get off the school bus.
“He sits in the shade, reads his book, does his studies, and waits on his kid to get off the bus. He didn’t have no gun. He wasn’t messing with nobody. All they did, them jump-out boys, them undercover detectives, they jumped out their truck, they said, ‘Hands up! He got a gun! He got a gun!’ POW POW POW POW. That’s it.”
Police Chief Kerr Putney:
“The officers gave loud, clear verbal commands that were also heard by many of the witnesses. They were instructing the subject, once he got out of the vehicle, to drop the weapon. Despite the verbal commands, Mr. Scott exited the vehicle as the officers continued to yell at him to drop it. He stepped out, posing a threat to the officers, and Officer Brentley Vinson subsequently fired his weapon, striking the subject.”
The gun: His family says it was a book, not a gun. If so, it would hardly be the first time police imagined a gun – or planted one. Putney cannot say whether Scott raised his gun, whether it was loaded, whether it was registered to him. But he did say they found it “in close proximity” to Scott.
Open-carry: North Carolina law allows people to openly carry guns, even without a permit.
Officer Brentley Vinson, the killer cop, is Black, son of a police officer who was with the Charlotte-Mecklenberg police for 27 years. Vinson the younger has been with them for two years so far. Instead of being arrested, he has been given a paid vacation, a common police practice.
Video: Vinson did not have a body camera, but some of the other officers did. There is also video from police cars. None of it is (yet) public. The governor signed a law limiting the public’s right to see police video.
Protest: after two nights of violent protest, the governor has declared a state of emergency, which allows him to bring in the National Guard and state police. The same was done in Ferguson in 2014 and Baltimore in 2015.
Mayor Jennifer Roberts tweeted after the first night:
“The community deserves answers and full investigation will ensue. Will be reaching out to community leaders to work together @CMPD @ncnaacp”
The police are investigating themselves.
The district attorney determined that the first five police shootings for this year were “justified”. This is the sixth.
Randall Kerrick, the Charlotte police officer who shot Jonathan Ferrell, an unarmed Black man, in 2013, was charged with voluntary manslaughter, but got off.
– Abagond, 2016.
- Terence Crutcher
- Jonathan Ferrell
- Phantom Negro Weapon