Prosecutor Announces Cop Who Shot Keith Lamont Scott Won't Be Charged
A prosecutor in Charlotte has announced that he will not charge a police officer who shot a black civilian as he was waiting near his car September 20.
District Attorney R. Andrew Murray told reporters Wednesday that charges will not be filed against officer Brentley Vinson, who is black, in the shooting death of Keith Lamont Scott.
"It is my opinion that Officer Vinson acted lawfully when he shot Mr. Scott," Murray said. "His use of deadly force was lawful."
While Scott's family members insist he was not armed during the brief but frightening encounter between him and police, after the shooting, Chief Kerr Putney said Scott was armed and that a gun was found at the scene.
During his press conference Murray showed video of Scott entering a convenience store shortly before the shooting. In the video, Murray said a bulge in Scott's lower right pant leg "is consistent with the holster and gun later described by officers and found at the scene."
“He had no gun. He was not a threat. He was just not a threat, period,” Rakeyia Scott said told CBS News in October.
During the press conference, Murray played a video in which Vinson explained his actions to investigators.
"[Scott] decided to get out of the car with the gun in and hand," Vinson said. "I felt like if I didn’t do anything right then at this point, that he was going to shoot me."
Officers were at the apartment complex where Scott was shot to serve a warrant unrelated to him.
Vinson has been on administrative leave as authorities investigate.
Swarms of protesters took to the streets of Charlotte in the wake of the fatal police shooting of yet another black man in the city.
News footage showed demonstrators swarming a police vehicle and what appeared to be the looting of trucks on Interstate 85 as protestors set fire to the contents.
In a separate press conference held after the DA's announcement, attorneys for Rakeyia Scott said they are still investigating the case.
"We still have concerns, this doesn’t end our inquiry," attorney Charles Monnett said. He pointed to questions surrounding the officers’ approach in the moments before the shooting, noting that Rakeyia Scott could be heard on video informing officers that Keith Scott had previously suffered a traumatic brain injury.