Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department plans to make video from the scene of a police shooting available to the family of the man killed, but despite calls for transparency, the chief remained adamant the video will not be released to the public.
It was unclear whether police videos from the scene of Tuesday’s fatal shooting would provide a definitive account of what happened in the moments before Keith Lamont Scott was killed by a black police officer. Chief Kerr Putney said the recording he has reviewed “does not give me absolute, definitive visual evidence that would confirm that a person is pointing a gun.” But he said it also does not appear to contradict the version of events that police have previously described.
Neighbors and a relative said Scott was reading a book in his car while he waited for his son to get off a school bus, but police have said the 43-year-old father had a gun that he repeatedly refused to drop when ordered by officers.
Chief Putney provided the update Thursday morning following a second night of violence in Charlotte, North Carolina, during which nine civilians were injured — including a man who was shot and critically injured — and 44 people were arrested for crimes ranging from failure to disperse to looting businesses.
Chief Putney and Charlotte Mayor Jennifer Roberts have pledged transparency in the investigation of Scott’s death, but the chief said he was more concerned with making the video available to Scott’s family than the public at this time and didn’t want to risk compromising the investigation into the incident.
“If you think I’m saying we should display a victim’s worst day for public consumption, that is not the transparency I’m speaking of,” he said.
As violent protests raged for a second night in Charlotte, a state of emergency was declared and both the North Carolina State Police and the National Guard were brought in to help the police force restore order. More law enforcement officers are expected to be in place Thursday night to prevent another night of chaos.
Chief Putney said police are still investigating Wednesday night’s shooting, which left a man in critical condition, and are reviewing video from the site of protests to identify others who were involved in committing crimes during the chaos.
Some in the crowds gathered Wednesday night have accused police of shooting the man most severely injured during the protests, and while Chief Putney said it is still not known who is responsible he said his agency is investigating the claim.
“There is a lot of information about who did that shooting,” he said. “We are here to seek the truth.”