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Charlotte Police: Video Doesn't Show 'Definitive Evidence' Keith Scott Pointed Gun At Police

Charlotte shooting protesters
Chuck Burton

Charlotte's police chief says video footage of the shooting of Keith Lamont Scott does not show 'definitive evidence' that Scott pointed a gun at officers before he was fatally shot.

Officials say Scott was shot and killed by Charlotte police on Tuesday while they were searching for another man. There are conflicting reports about whether Scott pointed a gun at the responding officers, which has prompted calls for police to release dash-cam and body-cam videos. Scott's family disputes the claim that he pointed a gun at officials.

Police said the plainsclothes officer who shot 43-year-old Scott, identified as Brently Vinson, has been placed on leave, which is standard procedure in such cases. Three uniformed officers at the shooting scene had body cameras; Vinson did not, police said.

In a press conference, Charlotte Police Chief Kerr Putney said he plans to show the video to Scott's family at their request, but Putney said he will not immediately release it to the public despite calls for greater transparency.

Livestream: NC NAACP Launches Investigation Into Shooting Death of Keith Lamont Scott

What I'm going to do is honor that request, and I tell you, if you think I say that we should display a victim's worst day for public consumption, that is not the transparency I'm speaking of,” said Putney adding that it's not clear from the footage whether Scott was holding a gun. 

Police said they found a firearm on Scott after the incident, and the chief state prosecutor in Charlotte is asking the State Bureau of Investigation to look into the shooting.

District Attorney R. Andrew Murray said in a statement Thursday that he was making the request for a state investigation at the request of Scott’s family.

Meanwhile, Scott’s family is calling on protesters to be peaceful.

In a statement released Thursday, Reykia Scott said she is devastated by the death of her husband and understands people's frustrations. But Reykia Scott said hurting people or damaging property is not the answer.

Police: "No curfew for Charlotte"

Police Chief Putney said he sees no reason to impose a curfew in North Carolina's largest city, even after two nights of violent protests following the shooting of a man by a police officer.

He said the city now has more resources to deal with problems, following a declaration of a state of emergency and the arrival of the North Carolina National Guard and more officers from the State Highway Patrol.

The NASCAR Hall of Fame in downtown Charlotte is among the places damaged during violent protests over the police shooting of a black man earlier this week.

The Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority oversees the NASCAR Hall of Fame building and the convention center next door. An official said the building is being assessed for damage.

Mayor Jennifer Roberts said earlier Thursday the city was considering a curfew. She defended the decision not to seek an emergency declaration earlier, noting the city had been calm during the day Wednesday. She says the request was made at the appropriate time when more resources were needed.

Roberts again called for calm as the shooting investigation continues. She said said she hopes to watch the video Thursday or Friday.

"I certainly would feel better being able to see it," she said, adding that she doesn't know how conclusive the video footage is until she watches it.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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