Share all sharing options for: Charlotte police officer that shot and also killed Keith Lamont Scott will not face charges


The Charlotte, north Carolina, police officer who shot and also killed Keith Lamont Scott — a shooting that led to protests and also riots in September — will certainly not challenge criminal charges, the regional prosecutor announced on Wednesday.

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According to police, police officers were looking for a want suspect with an excellent warrant in Charlotte, the Washington short article reported. They reportedly saw Scott — who wasn’t the wanted suspect — rolling a marijuana blunt, then holding a gun. The officers, who were attract plain garments at the time, left to placed on one outfit the would clearly mark them together officers, climate approached Scott.

During the confrontation, Scott left his vehicle and backed away, allegedly with a gun quiet in his hand — posing what police officers said was an impending physical threat. Police provided multiple warnings to drop the gun before they opened fire. A black officer through the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department, Brentley Vinson, shot Scott, death him.

Warning: Graphic video footage that a police shooting:


After several days that protests in Charlotte, police finally released videos that the shooting — native other officers on the scene (the officer that fired his gun walk not have actually a human body camera on) and dashboard cameras. The is hard to call in the videos whether Scott had anything in his hand at the time of the shooting, however Scott walk not appear to aim anything at the police officers, contesting the police’s original claims.

Charlotte Police cook Kerr Putney acknowledged as much, saying that the available video evidence does no prove the Scott intimidated police with a gun: "The video clip does not give me absolute, critical visual evidence that would certainly confirm that a human pointing a gun. Ns did not watch that in the videos that i reviewed. What I have the right to tell you, though, is once taken in the totality of every the other evidence, it supports what we"ve heard and also the version of the reality that us gave about the circumstances that occurred that brought about the fatality of Mr. Scott."

Under the law, one officer need to reasonably believe he or others space under instant threat to usage lethal force.

Police say castle recovered the gun the Scott accused brandished native the scene. They later released images that the gun, an ankle holster, and the marijuana blunt.

BREAKING:
CMPD releases picture of gun, ankle holster and marijuana "blunt" they say #KeithLamontScott had at time of encounter pic.twitter.com/Bx1OPVUQWy

— WBTV News (
WBTV_News) September 24, 2016

District lawyer Andrew Murray stated on Wednesday that Scott acquired the gun, i beg your pardon was previously stolen, 18 days prior to the deadly shooting. Investigators reportedly discovered Scott’s DNA on the grip and ammunition slide.

They did not discover a book, despite some family members claiming the police had actually possibly mistake a publication Scott was analysis for a gun.

Previously, the only video we had actually of the shooting come from Scott"s wife, who was ~ above the scene recording the occasions as they unfolded. But her video offered no significant evidence: It to be too far away indigenous the scene to make out what Scott and police officers were doing, and the shooting taken place out that frame. It also didn’t answer the an important question of whether Scott had a gun and also brandished it against police.

Warning: Graphic video footage of a police shooting:

Vinson, the officer who shot Scott, was put on administrative leave together the shooting was investigated.

The shooting led to protests and even violence in Charlotte as human being took come the roadways to demonstrate against the shooting. Come them, that is yet another example the the vast racial disparities in exactly how American police usage force.

The Charlotte protests turn violent in the first pair nights

Sean Rayford/Getty pictures

On the an initial night of protests, several civilization — including 16 police officers — were injured, top police to deploy tear gas to shot to disperse crowds, according to WSOC-TV. On the second night, police again offered tear gas to disperse crowds impede an interstate, people allegedly looted part businesses, and one man was reportedly shoot — reportedly by another civilian — and died. Things calmed under by the third night, as soon as protests to be peaceful.

Historian heather Ann Thompson explained the simmering anger the boiled over right into violence end the first pair nights:

In short, Charlotte is one of the wealthiest cities in the country, however this prosperity hasn"t touch overwhelmingly black West and also Northeast Charlotte and it is among the most heavily policed. And the police don"t invest much power policing — throwing human being up versus cars ~ above a constant basis to find them for drugs — in overwhelmingly white south Charlotte.

And the excessive and also aggressive policing of just Charlotte"s poorest and blackest neighborhoods leads there, as it go in every various other city in the country, come the death of citizens by the police. It has actually led there, as it has in other places to outrage.

As historians have said me, this is what leader to urban uprisings and riots. It"s frequently not just one occasion — it"s a confluence that factors, some of which may not it is in readily evident to observers. "People take part in this kind of occasion for a actual reason," Darnell Hunt, a UCLA professor who"s learned the 1992 Rodney King riots in Los Angeles, said. "It"s not just human being taking advantage. It"s not just anger and also frustration at the instant or proximate cause. It"s always some basic issues."

In this case, Charlotte protesters show up to it is in fed up v what they check out as an abusive police force. This rage goes ago to at least one current police shoot that attracted national headlines: the 2013 police shooting of Jonathan Ferrell, an unarmed 24-year-old black male who was shot 10 times and also killed by a white police officer after that crashed his car.

These comes to are also shared by numerous in minority communities nationwide, with current police shootings drawing widespread public and media scrutiny. In the days prior to the Charlotte protests, the Tulsa, Oklahoma, police shoot of unarmed Terence Crutcher likewise garnered nationwide headlines.

But due to the lack of video clip for the first few days that protests, we largely only knew just what police had said around the shooting. For countless critics that police, the was as great as learning nothing. Trust in the police is relatively low in black communities across the nation to start with — just 30 percent of black human being reported "a an excellent deal" or "quite a lot" of to trust in the police throughout a 2014-"15 period, versus 57 percent the white people, follow to Gallup.

And end the past couple of years, number of police account of shootings or killings, such as the police shootings of Samuel DuBose in Cincinnati and Laquan McDonald in Chicago, have fallen apart when interrogated with video clip evidence. Coupled with the gyeongju disparities, this made that particularly an overwhelming for protesters to take it cops at your word — leading to a real sense that anger the culminated in violent nights the protests.

Black world are much more likely come be killed by police than their white peers

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Alvin Chang/gendergeek.org An evaluation of the available FBI data by gendergeek.org’s Dara Lind shows that united state police death black human being at disproportionate rates: lock accounted for 31 percent the police death victims in 2012, even though they comprised just 13 percent of the us population. Although the data is incomplete, since it’s based upon voluntary reports from police agencies about the country, the highlights the vast disparities in just how police use force.

Black teens were 21 time as most likely as white teenagers to it is in shot and also killed by police between 2010 and 2012, according to a ProPublica analysis of the FBI data. ProPublica’s Ryan Gabrielson, Ryann Grochowski Jones, and Eric Sagara reported: "One method of appreciating that stark disparity, ProPublica’s evaluation shows, is come calculate how many an ext whites over those three years would have had actually to have actually been eliminated for them come have been at equal risk. The number is jarring — 185, much more than one every week."

There have been several high-profile police killings due to the fact that 2014 involving black suspects. In Baltimore, 6 police police officers were indicted because that the fatality of Freddie Gray if in police custody. In north Charleston, southern Carolina, Michael Slager to be charged through murder and fired from the police department after shooting Walter Scott, who was fleeing and unarmed in ~ the time. In Ferguson, Darren Wilson eliminated unarmed 18-year-old Michael Brown. In brand-new York City, NYPD officer Daniel Pantaleo killed Eric Garner by putting the unarmed 43-year-old black man in a chokehold.

BLACK teenagers WERE 21 time AS likely AS WHITE teens TO it is in SHOT and KILLED through POLICE in between 2010 and also 2012

One feasible explanation because that the racial disparities: Police tend to patrol high-crime neighborhoods, which room disproportionately black. That means they"re walking to it is in generally an ext likely come initiate a policing action, from traffic stops to much more serious arrests, versus a black person who lives in these areas. And all of these policing actions lug a chance, but small, to escalate right into a violent confrontation.

That"s no to speak that higher crime prices in black areas explain the entire racial disparity in police shootings. A 2015 study by researcher Cody Ross found, "There is no relationship in between county-level racial predisposition in police shootings and crime rates (even race-specific crime rates), meaning that the racial bias observed in police shootings in this data collection is no explainable as a solution to local-level crime rates." That suggests something rather — such as, potentially, racial predisposition — is walk on.

One factor to think racial bias is a factor: Studies present that policemans are faster to shoot black color suspects in video video game simulations. Mockery Correll, a college of Colorado Boulder psychology professor who carried out the research, said it’s feasible the prejudice could lead to even much more skewed outcomes in the field. "In the an extremely situation in which many need their training," he said, "we have actually some reason to believe that their training will certainly be most most likely to failure them."

Part the the solution to potential predisposition is better training that helps cops acknowledge and deal with their potential subconscious prejudices. But critics also argue that an ext accountability could help deter future brutality or too much use of force, due to the fact that it would certainly make it clear the there are results to the misuse and also abuse the police powers. Yet best now, lax legal criter make it complicated to legitimate punish separation, personal, instance police officers for use of force, even when it could be excessive.

Police only have to reasonably consciousness a risk to justification shooting

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Jewel Samad/AFP via Getty pictures Legally, what most matters in police shootings is even if it is police policemans reasonably thought that their stays were in prompt danger, not whether the shooting victim in reality posed a threat.

In the 1980s, a pair of can be fried Court decision — Tennessee v. Garner and Graham v. Connor — set up a framework for determining as soon as deadly force by cops is reasonable.

Constitutionally, "police officers are permitted to shoot under 2 circumstances," David Klinger, a college of Missouri St. Luigi professor who studies use of force, told gendergeek.org’s Lind. The very first circumstance is "to safeguard their life or the life of another innocent party" — what departments speak to the "defense-of-life" standard. The second circumstance is to stop a suspect from escaping, yet only if the officer has probable reason to think the suspect poses a dangerous danger to others.

The reasonable behind the 2nd circumstance, Klinger said, originates from a can be fried Court decision called Tennessee v. Garner. That case associated a pair that police police officers who shooting a 15-year-old boy as he fled indigenous a burglary. (He’d steal $10 and a purse from a house.) The court ruled that cops couldn’t shoot every felon who tried to escape. But, as Klinger said, "they basically say that the task of a cop is come protect world from violence, and also if you’ve acquired a violent person who’s fleeing, you have the right to shoot them to stop their flight."

THE an essential TO BOTH the THE LEGAL requirements IS the IT DOESN’T matter WHETHER over there IS an ACTUAL threat WHEN pressure IS USED

The an essential to both the the legal requirements — defense the life and also fleeing a violent felony — is the it doesn’t issue whether there is one actual hazard when pressure is used. Instead, what matters is the officer’s "objectively reasonable" id that there is a threat.

That standard comes from the various other Supreme Court case that guides use-of-force decisions: Graham v. Connor. This was a civil lawsuit lugged by a male who’d endured his encounter with police officers, yet who’d to be treated roughly, had his confront shoved right into the hood that a car, and also broken his foot — every while he was enduring a diabetic attack.

The court didn’t dominion on even if it is the officers’ therapy of him had been justified, but it go say the the police officers couldn’t justify your conduct just based upon whether your intentions were good. They had to show that your actions to be "objectively reasonable," offered the circumstances and also compared to what other police officers might do.

What’s "objectively reasonable" changes as the scenarios change. "One can’t just say, "Because I could use deadly pressure 10 secs ago, that way I have the right to use deadly force again now," Walter Katz, a California attorney who specializes in monitor of legislation enforcement agencies, said.

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In general, policemans are offered lot of legal latitude come use pressure without fear of punishment. The intention behind these legal standards is to offer police police officers leeway to do split-second decisions to defend themselves and also bystanders. And although critics argue that these legal standards give law enforcement a patent to kill innocent or unarmed people, police police officers say castle are important to your safety.

For part critics, the concern isn’t what’s legally justified yet rather those preventable. "We need to get past what is legal and start focusing on what is preventable. Many are preventable," Ronald Davis, a former police chief that heads the justice Department’s Office of neighborhood Oriented Policing Services, told the Washington Post. Police "need to avoid chasing down suspects, to dance fences, and landing on peak of someone through a gun," that added. "When they perform that, they have no choice but to shoot."