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The New York Times released cell phone footage on Friday showing the confusion leading up to the Tuesday shooting death of a black man by Charlotte police.
The two-minute footage, which does not show the shooting itself, was taken by the wife of the victim, Keith Lamont Scott.
The development comes a day after Charlotte’s police chief said the department would not publicly release video footage of Smith’s shooting that was captured by police body and dash cams.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department Chief Kerr Putney, however, did allow the family to view the police footage on Thursday.
The family said the video could not conclusively demonstrate whether the victim had a handgun, as police have said.
The new video the wife’s attorneys gave to The New York Times does not add anything conclusive to whether the killing—which prompted violent protests and a state of emergency in North Carolina—was justified.
The video does not show Scott being shot but offers “another vantage point” in the moments leading up to the shooting outside a Charlotte apartment complex, according to the family’s attorney. Police were at the complex to serve a warrant on somebody else when they say Scott got out of a vehicle with a gun, and they shot and killed him after ordering him to drop his weapon.
Scott’s wife, Rakeyia, said she had come out of the complex to give her husband a mobile phone charger, and she discovered officers around his truck.
“Hands up,” is what can be heard from the outset on the video.
According to The New York Times:
In the shaky video she took, the wife is overheard yelling “Don’t shoot him… ”
“He doesn’t have a gun,” Ms.
Scott says. “He has a T.B.I.”—an abbreviation for the traumatic brain injury the lawyers said Mr.
Scott sustained in a motorcycle accident in November 2015. “He’s not going to do anything to you guys. He just took his medicine.”
“Drop the gun,” an officer screams as the wife tries to explain her husband’s condition. “Let me get a fucking baton over here.”
“Keith, don’t let them break the windows.
Come up out the car,” Ms.
Scott says, as the video shows an officer approaching Mr.
“Drop the gun,” an officer shouts again.
“Keith, don’t do it,” Ms.
Scott shouts, as the video shows her backing away a bit and panning to the ground. “Keith, get out of the car. Keith, Keith.
Don’t you do it.
Don’t you do it, Keith.”
Then there are gunshots.
“Did you shoot him? Did you shoot him?” the wife is overheard yelling on the tape. “Did you shoot him? He better not be fucking dead. He better not be fucking dead.
I know that fucking much.
I know that much. He better not be dead.”
Moments later, the video shows Scott on the ground with officers by his side.
The family’s attorney, Justin Bamberg, said he exposed the video in a bid to prompt Chief Putney to release to the public the footage the agency has of the incident. Many have called for the video’s release, including members of Congress, the American Civil Liberties Union, and the NAACP.
Scott is the 194th black person killed by US police this year.
Bamberg told the newspaper:
Right now we don’t have enough facts to say whether this shooting was justified or unjustified.
That’s what we’re trying to find out. One reason why this video is being released is we wanted to give the city and Police Department the opportunity to do the right thing and release the videos they have available that clarify the situation a bit, and could potentially answer some of the outstanding questions.
Chief Putney did not immediately comment on the footage.