CHARLOTTE, N.C. (UPI) — The chief of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department on Thursday said video of the fatal police shooting of Keith Lamont Scott does not definitively show a gun being pointed.
“The video does not give me absolute, definitive visual evidence that could confirm that a person is pointing a gun,” Chief Kerr Putney said during a press conference. “I did not see that in the videos that I reviewed.”
“What I can tell you, though, is when taken in the totality of all the other evidence, it supports what we’ve heard in the version of the truth we gave about the circumstances that happened that led to the death of Mr. Scott,” Putney added.
Putney said Scott’s family will be allowed to watch the video of the shooting but police at this time do not plan to release the video to the public. The chief said he supports transparency “but I never said full transparency.”
“If you think we should display a family’s worst day for public consumption, that is not the transparency we’re speaking of,” Putney said.
The officer-involved shooting death of Scott, 43, occurred Tuesday in Charlotte’s University City neighborhood. Police said they had been searching for someone who had an outstanding warrant when they saw Scott leave his car. Officers on the scene said Scott had a gun.
Police said officers then approached Scott when he returned to the car. Officers shot Scott after he got out of the car again with a firearm “and posed an imminent deadly threat to the officers,” police previously said.
A woman who said she was Scott’s daughter said in a live stream video on Facebook that Scott was unarmed when he was shot. She said Scott was holding a book he was reading while waiting for the school bus to drop off his son.
Scott’s death prompted protests and rioting that led North Carolina Gov. Pat McCory to declare a state of emergency.
The American Civil Liberties Union and open government advocates have called on the police to release the video of Scott’s death before a state law goes into effect on Oct. 1 that will prevent police agencies from releasing body camera footage without a court order.
During the press conference, Putney said that he does not anticipate imposing a curfew in the current circumstances.
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