Charlotte police will release video of the fatal shooting of Keith Scott

Charlotte police chief kerr putney
Charlotte Police Chief Kerr Putney WBTV

The police department in Charlotte will release the body camera and dashcam footage of the fatal police shooting of Keith Scott, Chief Kerr Putney told media Saturday.

Police had previously said they wouldn’t immediately release the footage, citing the need to protect the integrity of the investigation. But on Friday, North Carolina’s State Bureau of Investigation, which had taken over the probe into the incident, said the city was free to release the video.

Putney said he made the decision to release the footage when he received assurance from the agency that the release of the video wouldn’t adversely impact its investigation.

Putney has said the video doesn’t definitively show Scott pointing a gun when officers fatally shot him, but he told media that Scott “absolutely” had a handgun. He added that no officers will be charged at this time, and police had a “compelling” reason to encounter Scott before the shooting took place.

“There was a crime that he had committed that caused that encounter, and then the gun exacerbated that situation,” Putney said.

A mobile phone video taken by Scott’s wife Rakeyia was also released Friday and showed the moments before and after the shooting, but not the shooting itself.

In that video, Rakeyia can be heard repeatedly telling officers, “He has no weapon,” and the officers can be heard repeatedly saying to Scott, “Drop the gun.”

Scott’s shooting on Tuesday set off several nights of unrest in Charlotte. Violent protests Tuesday and Wednesday night prompted Gov. Pat McCrory to declare a state of emergency and the city to set a midnight curfew.

Demonstrations continued Thursday and Friday evening, but remained mostly calm.