On Tuesday afternoon, Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officer Brentley Vinson shot and killed Keith Lamont Scott, 43, in University City, a subdivision of Charlotte, NC, about a mile from the University of North Carolina campus.
According to the police statement, Vinson was at The Village at College Downs complex on Old Concord Road “searching for someone who had an outstanding warrant.” That someone was not Scott.
Police claim that Scott had a firearm and “posed an imminent deadly threat.”
Family members told various local news organizations that Scott was waiting to pick up his son after school and was reading a book, not carrying a gun. A man identified as Scott’s son said that Vinson was not in uniform.
The brother of the man police shot and killed tells me he was holding a book and waiting for his son to be dropped off from school @wsoctv
— Joe Bruno (@JoeBrunoWSOC9) September 20, 2016
An eyewitness told the victim’s daughter that a Taser was used on her father, then he was shot at least three times.
Was he or was he not armed? And does that even matter in an open carry state?
— TC (@tchopstl_) September 21, 2016
— Sarah-Blake Morgan (@SarahBlakeWBTV) September 20, 2016
Family members say Scott was not armed, that he was scared of guns. Police say that they recovered a gun at the scene.
A Department of Justice analysis of the Philadelphia police department last year revealed this about implicit bias, biases that are unconscious, and the perception of threats:
The officer believed that the person was armed and it turned out not to be the case. And these failures were more likely to occur when the subject was black [even if the officers were themselves black or Latino].
The evening was marked by clashes between police in riot gear and demonstrators.
— Jamil Smith (@JamilSmith) September 21, 2016
— The Boston Globe (@BostonGlobe) September 21, 2016
This is a police department that has been marked by violence.
Scott is the sixth civilian killed by Charlotte-Mecklenburg police in the past year. The population of Charlotte: 793,000.
Three years ago, former Charlotte-Mecklenburg, N.C., police officer Randall Kerrick, 27, was charged with voluntary manslaughter in the shooting death of 24-year-old former Floridan A&M football player Jonathan Ferrell. Last summer, a jury deadlocked (8-4) and the judge declared a mis-trial.
And that was that, even though North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper said “Kerrick did not follow his training during his encounter with Ferrell.” Kerrick received $113,000 in back pay from the city as well as more than $50,000 in attorney fees.
Kerrick shot Ferrell 10 times in the Bradfield Farms neighborhood after Ferrell had wrecked his car. The city settled with Ferrell’s family for $2.25 million.
The Fraternal Order of Police has endorsed Trump for president. The national police union represents 330,000 members. Clinton did not seek an endorsement from the union.
Known for gnawing at complex questions like a terrier with a bone. Digital evangelist, writer, teacher. Transplanted Southerner; teach newbies to ride motorcycles! @kegill, wiredpen.com