The Charlotte police department has today (September 24) succumbed to pressure, addressing the situation regarding whether or not they would be releasing the dashboard and body camera recordings in the fatal police shooting of Keith Lamont Scott.
In a statement issued earlier this evening, the city’s police chief, Kerr Putney, announced that the footage will in fact be released. The department has since followed up, releasing dashboard and body camera footage, following days of outrage from the Black community.
"I have decided that we're at a stage where I can release additional information without adversely impacting [the State Bureau of Investigation's] investigation," the police chief said in a statement. "Prior to this point, it would have had an impact."
In addition to offering the explanation for the delay of the videos' release, the police chief earlier added that the videos from the department offer no clarity regarding what happened during that specific and crucial point of the incident.
“The video does not give me absolute, definitive visual evidence that would confirm that a person is pointing a gun,” Putney explained on Thursday (September 22).
According to Putney, Scott was holding a handgun when he was shot by police, but as Putney points out the gun is not visible in the following footage. An attorney for Scott’s family has insisted that they do not believe Scott owned a handgun in the first place, and that he in fact was holding a book in his hand at the time of the shooting. Police have since said that a handgun was recovered from the scene, but a book was not.
After Scott’s family watched the police videos for themselves, they stated that they firmly believe the videos should be released publicly.
“We encourage everyone to reserve judgment until all the facts are known,” a statement from the Scott family’s attorney said. “This is simply one step in our quest to find the truth for this family.”
At this time, both the police and the Scott family are continuing their investigations, and the decision to make the videos public was a reversal by Chief Putney.
Clips of unedited video footage in question may be viewed below at your discretion.
(Photo: NBC news via screenshot)