Charlotte Upheaval Continues; Answers Wanted

Debris falls upon Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officers and protesters as officers began to push protesters from an intersection.

Charlotte’s mayor said police video capturing the moments when Keith Lamont Scott was shot by an officer will be released, but there is no timetable on exactly when. The footage could answer many questions left due to conflicting reports from police that say Scott had a weapon and refused to drop it when ordered by police and others who say he was unarmed and was only holding a book.

“The transparency would be helpful if the footage is clear and if it covers all the different parts of what happened that evening. Since I haven’t seen it, I’m not certain of that and that may be the case,” Mayor Jennifer Roberts said on ABC’s “Good Morning America.” “There were a couple of different body cameras, there was a dash camera, but as you know sometimes those can be not clear.”

Scott’s family was scheduled to watch the video on Thursday, Roberts told local radio station WBT. A state law that goes into effect Oct. 1 prevents police from releasing body camera footage to the public without a court order.

Police said they would not release any video of the Scott shooting while the investigation is active. Body cameras were worn by three officers who were present at the scene, but not by Brentley Vinson, the officer who fired the fatal shot. He has been placed on administrative leave.

As residents in Charlotte await the video’s release, the city remains under a state of emergency after a second night of protests that went from peaceful and orderly into violence with property being damaged, and one person being shot and left in critical condition. Police did not shoot the man, city officials said. But witnesses contradict that.

“It was an ambush. The victim was shot while he stood between two ministers, and we believe he was shot by police,” Minister Steve Knight of Charlotte’s Missiongathering Christian Church said in a statement obtained by the Charlotte Observer. “We would like to see surveillance video from the surrounding area that may have captured the shooting to determine who was responsible for the shooting.”

The streets were mostly quiet Thursday morning, but Bank of America, Wells Fargo and Duke Energy all told employees not to venture into North Carolina’s largest city after Gov. Pat McCrory declared a state of emergency Wednesday night and called in the National Guard after the police chief said he needed the help. The North Carolina National Guard arrived at a Charlotte armory early Thursday, and Guard vehicles left the armory about 8 a.m. Roberts said a curfew is being considered.

With AP

Image: Debris falls upon Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officers and protesters as officers began to push protesters from an intersection.  Jeff Siner/The Charlotte Observer via AP

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