A North Carolina police officer who fatally shot a African american man in September, motivating days of chaotic protests, “acted lawfully” and will not be accused in the death, prosecutors reported Wednesday.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Officer Brentley Vinson, who is also African american, shot Keith Lamont Scott, 43, in a parking lot as authorities were planning to serve an arrest warrant against someone else. Vinson has stated he observed Scott rolling a marijuana joint and possessing a gun, and fired at him out of worry for public safety.
The case obtained national notoriety after Scott’s wife, Rakeyia, contributed cellphone video she took of the events leading up to the killing, in which she begs police officers not to shoot her husband.
“It is my opinion that Officer Vinson acted lawfully when he shot Mr. Scott,” Mecklenburg County District Attorney Andrew Murray stated at a news conference. “He acted lawfully.”
A crew of 15 career prosecutors made the choice with one voice according to the legal definition of what justifies the usage of deadly force for self-defense, Murray included.
“The same legal standards apply to both private citizens and police officers,” he stated. “police are sometimes required to run toward, rather than away, from dangerous situations to protect the public.”
In this circumstance, Vinson had to make a split-second choice, Murray stated. He inevitably fired four shots at Scott after Scott drew his weapon and failed to obey frequent commands by the officers to drop it, staring at them with a “trance-like look” in his eyes, Murray included.
There was no immediate reaction to the lack of charges from Scott’s loved ones, who Murray met with just before making his statement.
“As you can imagine, it was a difficult discussion. However, the family was extremely gracious,” Murray stated. “No one, and I mean no one, should ever experience, let alone witness, the violent death of a loved one.”
Whether Scott was armed was a key point of the law in the case. In the video taken by Scott’s wife, Rakeyia Scott contends he’s not.
“He doesn’t have a gun. He has a TBI [traumatic brain injury],” she states. “He’s not going to do anything to you guys. He just took his medicine.”
The family persisted to maintain after the murdering that Scott was unarmed. As anger boiled over in Charlotte later on, compelling North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory to announce a state of emergency, protesters commanded law enforcement release more video to demonstrate whether or not he was.
Vinson was not donning a bodycam at the time of the shooting, but the three other plainclothes police officers who were at the scene were.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Chief Kerr Putney finally opted to release bodycam and dashcam videos, but neither plainly demonstrated whether Scott had a firearm in his hand. Putney stated law enforcement concluded from other proof – namely a gun discovered at the scene, which a lab analysis revealed had Scott’s DNA and fingerprints on it – that Scott was armed at the time.
Murray on Wednesday demonstrated to reporters surveillance video of Scott going into a close by convenience store minutes before his death, which revealed Scott with a gun and holster that Murray stated was consistent with the one detailed by law enforcement. He also played police radio traffic audio, in which officers pointed out viewing Scott’s gun before taking any action.
A bullet was later discovered to be in the gun – which was stolen and illegally distributed to Scott years earlier, Murray stated.
Murray pleaded with the community to be understanding of his team’s choice not to press charges.
“We took a lot of painstaking effort to make certain that there was no personal bias in the review,” he stated. “Public opinion did not factor in our determination. I’d like the community to take a collective pause.”
These People Are A Danger To Themselves And Others! Wake Up!!!!!!
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