Stein/Baraka statement on the death of Keith Lamont Scott
Stein/Baraka statement on the death of Keith Lamont Scott and protests in Charlotte, NC – the demand is simple: stop the killing.
Our hearts are breaking once again. Keith Lamont Scott, a disabled father of seven, was reportedly killed by police in Charlotte, North Carolina yesterday while sitting in a car reading a book. This gut-wrenching incident follows the death of Terence Crutcher earlier this week, who was killed by police with his hands up next to his car.
The community response in Charlotte is an understandable expression of anguish and represents the unmet demand for justice.
We stand behind the ongoing call of the Black Lives Matter movement to end the epidemic of police violence that continues to murder thousands of Black men, women and children across this country. This is a human rights crisis, and a moment of reckoning for the soul of our nation.
We must have the courage to face the reality that the exploitation of Black bodies was literally built into the fabric of our nation. The Stein/Baraka campaign calls for the Department of Justice to end the impunity of police officers who violate the most precious human right that all of us have – right to life. The Federal government has an objective requirement to protect and fulfill the fundamental human rights of every person who lives in this country, an obligation that it has consistently failed to meet. We call for the creation of a Truth and Reconciliation Commission so we can publicly confront the living legacy of the criminal institution of slavery and its role in the ongoing culture of violence in America.
We repeat our calls to demilitarize the police, to replace confrontation with de-escalation, and to establish community control over local law enforcement. We call for the urgent implementation of training programs for non-violent approaches to policing. In Richmond, California, incidents of police violence have been greatly reduced by using these simple, common sense approaches.
State-sanctioned violence is endemic in a society that normalizes racialized oppression. A badge should not be a license to kill with impunity. The Stein/Baraka campaign is committed to ending the daily nightmare of police harassment, assaults, and murders of Black people in the United States.
Keith Lamont Scott: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know
A 43-year-old black man was fatally shot by police Tuesday afternoon at an apartment complex in Charlotte, North Carolina, sparking protests from members of the community.
The man has been identified by neighbors and family as Keith Lamont Scott. His family says he was disabled.
The officer who shot Scott was identified Tuesday night as Officer Brentley Vinson, WJZY-TV reports.
According to the Charlotte Observer, the shooting occurred in the parking lot of the Village at College Downs apartment complex on Old Concord Road just before 4 p.m.
Officers were attempting to serve an arrest warrant, but the man who was shot was not the person they were attempting to take into custody. Police told the newspaper Scott was armed and a gun was recovered at the scene by detectives.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Chief Kerr Putney said the officers felt their lives were endangered and at least one officer shot Scott, the Observer reports.
Scott was taken to a local hospital, where he died, police said.
His family has disputed the police statements about the shooting, saying he was waiting for his son to come home from school when police arrived at the apartment complex and shot him.
Police said 16 officers were injured during the unrest following the shooting. Hundreds gathered near the scene, facing off with riot-gear-clad police. Some police vehicles were damaged, and officers used tear gas to try to disperse the crowd. Early Wednesday morning, some protesters entered Interstate 85, shutting down traffic.
Putney said police will be prepared for protests again Wednesday night, but hopes they will be peaceful. “We are hoping for the best, preparing for the worst,” he said.
One arrest was made, but police said the investigation into the unrest is continuing and more could be made.
Many details about the shooting have not yet been released, and this story will be updated as more information is made available.
Here’s what we know so far:
1. Police Say Scott ‘Posed an Imminent Deadly Threat,’ but His Family Says He Was Reading a Book When He Was Shot by an Undercover Cop
Police said the Metro Division Crime Reduction Unit was searching for a suspect with an outstanding warrant at The Village at College Downs apartment complex.
“Officers observed a subject inside a vehicle in the apartment complex,” police said in the press release. “The subject exited the vehicle armed with a firearm. Officers observed the subject get back into the vehicle at which time they began to approach the subject.”
“The subject got back out of the vehicle armed with a firearm and posed an imminent deadly threat to officers who subsequently fired their weapon striking the subject,” police said.
Police said Officer Brentley Vinson fired the fatal shot.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Chief Kerr Putney said at a Wednesday morning press conference that Keith Lamont Scott refused orders to drop the gun he was holding. He said detectives found the gun “in close proximity” to Scott.
“The officers gave loud, clear verbal commands that were also heard by many of the witnesses,” Putney said. “They were instructing the subject, once he got out of the vehicle, to drop the weapon. Despite the verbal commands, Mr. Scott exited the vehicle as the officers continued to yell at him to drop it. He stepped out, posing a threat to the officers, and Officer Brentley Vinson subsequently fired his weapon, striking the subject.”
Putney said the weapon was first seen when Scott exited the vehicle the second time. He also said he cannot say definitively that Scott pointed the gun at an officer.
But his family tells a different story. They say Scott was reading a book in his car while waiting for his son to be dropped off by a school bus. His brother told reporters that the officer who shot Scott was undercover and was in plainclothes.
His sister told reporters Scott did not have a gun
On Wednesday, Putney, the city’s police chief said “it’s time to change the narrative. Because I can tell you from the facts, that the story is a little bit different as to how it’s been portrayed so far, especially through social media.”
Putney said “I can tell you a weapon was seized, a handgun, I can also tell you we did not find a book that was made reference to. We did find a weapon, and the witnesses corroborated it too, beyond just the officers.”
The chief also said the officer, Vinson, was in plainclothes, but had a vest on with CMPD and police on the front and back. Uniformed officers were also at the scene, Putney said.
The chief said he does not know if the gun was loaded. Officials have also not said if the gun was legally owned.
According to police, officers “immediately requested” a medic and “began performing CPR” after Scott was shot.
Scott was taken to Carolinas Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.
The shooting remains under investigation. Putney said he could not provide other details about the case because he did not want to jeopardize the investigation.
2. Scott’s Daughter Live Streamed Video on Facebook After the Shooting & Protesters Took to the Streets Tuesday Night
Keith Lamont Scott’s daughter, Lyric Scott, streamed live video on Facebook from the scene of the shooting for about an hour Tuesday afternoon, showing confrontations with police and the raw emotions of a family who just lost a father and brother.
The video, which you can watch below (warning, it contains strong language), starts with the woman recording officers at the crime scene:
Charlotte Police Shooting Keith Lamont Scott – Lyric YourAdorable Scott Facebook Live
Lyric YourAdorable Scott posted this video to Facebook after finding out that here father was shot by Police in Charlotte, North Carolina. For reading a book in the car, live video.
“The police just shot my daddy four times for being black,” she says. “They Tased him first and then shot him.”
More than 500,000 people have watched the video after the Tuesday afternoon shooting. The story quickly spread on social media, with #KeithLamontScott trending on Twitter and Facebook.
Dozens of people gathered at the scene of the shooting by Tuesday night to protest and call for justice. The protests continued into Wednesday morning, with some people turning violent, smashing patrol cars, throwing rocks at police officers and cars, and shutting down traffic on Interstate 85. Video from a local news station showed people looting semi-trucks and then setting the contents of the trucks on fire on the highway.’
Officers at the scene were wearing body armor during the standoff with community members, according to photos and videos from the scene, which you can watch here.
The police department said on Twitter that the “Civil Emergency Unit deployed to safely remove our officers from old concord. … Demonstrators surrounded our officers who were attempting to leave scene. A number of agitators have joined demonstrators.”
According to police, an officer “sustained injuries in an attempt to deescalate agitators during demonstration.” The injuries were not threatening, police said.
In a later tweet, police said, “Several officers injured tonight working to protect our community during demonstration.”
“I will continue to work with our manager & Chief on officer involved shooting. We are reaching out to community to ask for calm,” Charlotte Mayor Jennifer Roberts tweeted.
Roberts extended condolences to Scott’s family at a Wednesday morning press conference, and asked the community to “wait until all information is available” before coming to conclusions about the shooting.
Raw: Protests in Charlotte After Police Shooting
A black Charlotte, North Carolina police officer shot an armed black man at an apartment complex Tuesday, authorities said, prompting angry street protests late into the night. Officials say about 12 police officers were hurt. (Sept. 21)
3. Scott Was Married & the Father of 7 Children, His Family Says
Scott was married with seven children and a “great man and great father,” a family member told Heavy.
He waited at the bus stop every day for his son, according to his family.
His daughter said in her Facebook video that Scott was disabled.
A GoFundMe account has been set-up to help his family.
4. The Officer Who Shot Scott Has Been Placed on Paid Leave, Police Say
Vinson, 26, has been with the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department since 2014. His father, Alex Vinson, is a private investigator in Charlotte who worked as a police officer and supervisor with the CMPD for 27 years before retiring as a sergeant.
The younger Vinson graduated from Charlotte’s Ardrey Kell High School in 2007 and then played college football at Liberty University after a post-graduate year at Fork Union Military School, according to his biography on Liberty’s website. He graduated from Liberty with a criminal justice degree.
The shooting is being investigated by the department’s homicide unit, not an outside agency.
“As is standard procedure with any officer involved shooting, the Internal Affairs Bureau will conduct a separate, but parallel, investigation to determine whether CMPD policies and procedures were adhered to during the course of the incident,” police said.
Officer Vinson was not wearing a body camera, but some of the officers at the scene were, police said. There is body camera footage from the scene, but Police Chief Kerr Putney said he has not seen all of the video yet.
“The videos that I have reviewed, I cannot see in totality everything that occurred,” Putney said.
He said investigators are still going through all the footage, including dashboard camera recordings, but said it is part of the investigation and cannot be released until that is completed.
North Carolina’s legislature recently passed a law, which was signed by Governor Pat McCrory, to restrict public access to police shooting videos.
U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch said Wednesday the Justice Department is “aware of” and is “assessing” the Charlotte shooting, NBC News reports.
Scott is the sixth person killed by the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department in 2016, according to WSOC-TV. The district attorney’s office found the first five shootings to be justified, the news station reports.
The shooting also comes a year after a mistrial in the voluntary manslaughter case against Charlotte-Mecklenburg officer Randall Kerrick, who killed Jonathan Ferrell, an unarmed 24-year-old former college football player in 2013. Ferrell had been in a car accident and was seeking help when he was shot.
The state declined to seek a retrial against Kerrick. The case sparked outrage in the community and has been referenced several times as a precursor to the anger that comes in the wake of Scott’s death.
This is very strange……Keith Lamont Scott was executed by a caucasian under cover KKKop, in plain clothes, wearing a red shirt, by ALL accounts of witnesses on the scene.
Very strange this Negro, Brentley Vinson, would stand up as the shooter of Keith Lamont Scott. I smell a cover up.
Keith Lamont Scott Witness….’The Officer Who Shot That Man Was White,’ Says Witness To Keith Lamont Scott Murder!
5. Scott’s Death Comes a Day After Bodycam Footage Was Released From a Controversial Oklahoma Police Shooting
The fatal shooting of Scott comes among heightened tensions over another shooting of a black man. Terence Crutcher , 40, was unarmed when he was killed by a police officer in Tulsa, Oklahoma, last Friday.
Videos recorded on police dashboard cameras and from a police helicopter were released Monday, leading to outrage. His family has called for the officer to be charged with murder, saying Scott was shot while his arms were raised in the air.
Officer Betty Shelby, who shot Crutcher, has been placed on paid leave as the shooting is investigated by the Tulsa Police Department and the U.S. Justice Department.
Police say Crutcher did not listen to officers’ commands and Shelby’s attorney says he was reaching into his SUV, which had been abandoned in the middle of the road, when Shelby shot him. His family disputes the police version of events, saying Crutcher’s window was closed and he could not have been reaching into the vehicle.
You can read more about the shooting at the link below:
Terence Crutcher was fatally shot by Tulsa, Oklahoma, police Officer Betty Shelby after his car broke down Friday. Crutcher, 40, was unarmed, his family says.
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