Protests over a deadly officer-involved shooting in Charlotte, North Carolina took a violent turn once again this week, with police firing tear gas and demonstrators throwing objects in an attempt to destroy vehicles. Officers have been injured in the chaos.
Keith Lamont Scott, a father of seven, was killed by police in an apartment complex parking lot on Tuesday while officers were looking for another man named in a warrant they were attempting to serve.
The shooting sparked heated protests which have continued for days. Scott’s family says he was unarmed and sitting in his car reading a book, waiting for his son to come home from school when he was shot.
Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Chief Kerr Putney tells a very different story—arguing that Scott exited his car with a gun, not a book. In fact, officers were unable to find a book at the scene.
“It’s time for the voiceless majority to stand up and be heard,” said the police chief, a black man. “It’s time to change the narrative because I can tell you from the facts that the story’s a little bit different as to how it’s been portrayed so far, especially through social media.”
Putney notes that evidence and witnesses support the officers’ claim that Scott was armed at the time of the shooting. Though officers repeatedly told Scott to drop his handgun, he refused.
Officer Brentley Vinson, also a black man, ended up shooting him. Vinson has worked for Charlotte-Mecklenburg police for two years. He was a football player at Liberty University, where he majored in criminal justice.
The chief said he was unsure whether Scott pointed his gun at officers, and Vinson, who was in plain clothes, did not have a body camera. Three uninformed officers were wearing cameras at the time. The footage is under investigation now.
“It breaks my heart to see something like this happen, and I have a really hard time believing that Brent shot a man in his car while waiting for his (son) for no reason,” a former teammate of Vinson’s told reporters. “Brent has always been a great guy founded on good morals. I find it very hard to believe that he would gun down an innocent man.”
The officer has since been placed on paid administrative leave.
What do you think? Are you tired of the media leaving out important details?