Justice

Video of Keith Lamont Scott's Death to Be Released

September 24th 2016

By:
Thor Benson

Today authorities in Charlotte, North Carolina, said that footage of the killing of Keith Lamont Scott from dashboard cameras and body cameras will be released, according to the New York Times. Scott died on September 20 after police claimed that he refused to follow orders and put down a gun, though that has been contested by others, including Scott's family.

Update: The video has just been released:

 

Since his death, protests have rocked Charlotte, and protesters and politicians like Hillary Clinton have called for the footage to be released.

 

Official videos could clear up a few ambiguities in the case.

Scott’s wife, Rakeyia, recorded a video while the altercation was happening, but it doesn't confirm whether Scott was in possession of a gun or not.

Authorities maintain that Scott had a firearm, which he was reluctant to put down, but many think there's another story. Scott's lawyers assert that he didn't make any dramatic movements and that he took a few steps forward, but not in an aggressive way, the Times reports. Justin Bamberg, one of the lawyers said that the dashboard video (which lawyers and family members could view) shows that Scott did have an object in his left hand, thought it's hard to tell what it was. Perhaps if experts could take a closer look, it would be more obvious if anything did pose a threat to officers.

The footage also comes at a critical point.

North Carolina passed a law in July that makes would make it more difficult to obtain police footage. That law goes into effect on October 1, so if the police didn't release the video before then, accessing Scott's video would require going through a judge, who would have to determine if it passed on of eight standards, such as if it would damage someone's reputation.

According to the New York Times, Charlotte's police chief, Kerr Putney, was concerned that making the video publicly accessible would harm the investigation taking place and inflame already tense relations in the city. “If I were to put it out indiscriminately, and it doesn’t give you good context, it can inflame the situation and make it even worse,” he said. “It will exacerbate the backlash. It will increase the distrust, so that is where discernment, judgment and reasonableness have to come in.”

Further review of the videos could elucidate the actions of both Scott as well as the officers involved.