CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Police released videos Saturday of the fatal shooting of Keith Lamont Scott, which prompted protests and riots throughout the city earlier this week.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Chief Kerr Putney said criminal action led police to confront Scott, who was fatally shot Tuesday at a Charlotte apartment complex.
Police said officers were at the apartment complex to execute an arrest warrant on a different person.
Officers then saw Scott in the apartment’s parking lot inside an SUV with marijuana and a gun, which police said gave them probable cause for an arrest.
Police said Scott repeatedly ignored their commands to drop his weapon.
“Officer Vinson perceived Mr. Scott’s actions and movements as an imminent physical threat to himself and the other officers,” police said in a news release. “Officer Vinson fired his issued service weapon, striking Mr. Scott. Officers immediately rendered first aid and requested Medic to respond to the scene.”
Chief Putney said "officers are absolutely not being charged by me at this point."
Charlotte's police chief said the video recorded by Scott's widow that was released publicly Friday didn't factor into his decision to release police-recorded video of the fatal shooting.
"Our practice and our protocol is to release as soon as we can to inform," said Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Chief Kerr Putney.
Putney said he was waiting to release the video of the shooting of Keith Scott until the State Bureau of Investigation assured him it would not adversely impact the state's investigation.
The chief said they will release physical and DNA evidence as well.
Tuesday's shooting of Scott, a black man, by a black police officer at an apartment complex parking lot has spurred protests in Charlotte over the past four nights.
It is among a number of shootings in recent years that have spurred debate about how and when police should use deadly force.
The status of the videos held by police -- body camera and dashcam footage -- had been a point of contention between police and Scott's family, with authorities declining to release them throughout the week.
Demonstrators gathered on Charlotte streets again for a fifth day. A diverse crowd of a couple of hundred people marched from Marshall Park after a short rally. The crowd stopped at the Charlotte-Mecklenburg police headquarters and chanted: "No tapes; no peace."
Police released the following statement Saturday about the shooting, which read, in part:
Two plain clothes officers were sitting inside of their unmarked police vehicle preparing to serve an arrest warrant in the parking lot of The Village at College Downs, when a white SUV pulled in and parked beside of them.
The officers observed the driver, later identified as Mr. Keith Lamont Scott, rolling what they believed to be a marijuana “blunt.” Officers did not consider Mr. Scott’s drug activity to be a priority at the time and they resumed the warrant operation. A short time later, Officer Vinson observed Mr. Scott hold a gun up.
Because of that, the officers had probable cause to arrest him for the drug violation and to further investigate Mr. Scott being in possession of the gun.
Due to the combination of illegal drugs and the gun Mr. Scott had in his possession, officers decided to take enforcement action for public safety
concerns. Officers departed the immediate area to outfit themselves with marked duty vests and equipment that would clearly identify them as police officers.
Upon returning, the officers again witnessed Mr. Scott in possession of a gun. The officers immediately identified themselves as police officers and gave clear, loud and repeated verbal commands to drop the gun. Mr. Scott refused to follow the officers repeated verbal commands.
A uniformed officer in a marked patrol vehicle arrived to assist the officers. The uniformed officer utilized his baton to attempt to breach the front passenger window in an effort to arrest Mr. Scott.
Mr. Scott then exited the vehicle with the gun and backed away from the vehicle while continuing to ignore officers’ repeated loud verbal commands to drop the gun. Officer Vinson perceived Mr. Scott’s actions and movements as an imminent physical threat to himself and the other officers. Officer Vinson fired his issued service weapon, striking Mr. Scott. Officers immediately rendered first aid and requested Medic to respond to the scene.
Homicide Unit Detectives interviewed multiple independent civilian witnesses at the scene and at police headquarters. Those witnesses confirmed that officers gave numerous loud verbal commands for Mr. Scott to drop the weapon and also confirmed that at no time did Mr. Scott comply with their commands.
A lab analysis conducted of the gun crime scene investigators recovered at the scene revealed the presence of Mr. Scott’s DNA and his fingerprints on the gun. It was also determined that the gun Mr. Scott possessed was loaded at the time of the encounter with the officers. The investigation also revealed that Mr. Scott was wearing an ankle holster at the time of the event.
The body worn camera illustrates the footage from the moment it was turned on until officers began rendering first aid to Mr. Scott
The dash-cam footage is from the time in which the officer operating the car with the dash-cam video arrives on the scene until officers began rendering first aid to Mr. Scott.