Details of the shooting of Keith Lamont Scott in Charlotte, North Carolina are in dispute as protests break out. Officers claim Scott aroused suspicion after being seen with a gun in the open carry state, but those who knew him claim all he had was a book.
At least 100 protesters in Charlotte, North Carolina clashed with police late Tuesday night following the deadly police shooting of Keith Lamont Scott. Tear gas has been deployed and SWAT teams formed after reports of protesters throwing bottles.
Two Charlotte officers are reportedly injured, at least one with non-life-threatening injuries.
Hours following the deadly shooting of a man police claim was armed with a gun, hundreds of protesters took to the streets. Relatives and witnesses are countering the police narrative, denying the allegations that Keith Scott was armed. They say all he had was a book.
Peaceful protesters are reportedly urging others to refrain from violent outbursts, what have so far been reported as bottle throwing.
43-year-old Keith Scott was killed Tuesday after police noticed him standing in front of an apartment complex they were going to enter to serve a warrant on someone else.
Scott’s brother told reporters that Scott was waiting for his son to get home from school when an officer jumped out of his vehicle without a uniform.
“He was an undercover, he just jumped out and yelled ‘gun’ and shot him,” he told WSOC.
A statement from the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department claimed that they were on the scene to arrest a different person when they saw Scott exit his vehicle with a firearm and then get back in. When officers approached, they claim Scott exited the vehicle “armed with a firearm and posed an imminent deadly threat to the officers who subsequently fired their weapon striking the subject.”
Police say the firearm “the subject was holding at the time of the shooting” has been recovered, WNCN reported.
However, merely carrying a gun is unlikely to have been an offense in the first place given that North Carolina requires no additional permit to openly carry a weapon.
Regardless, Scott’s family disagrees with this narrative and claims that it was not a weapon, but a book. A woman identifying herself as Lyric Scott, his daughter, spent over an hour on Facebook Live recounting eyewitness statements who claim that Scott was shot four times and that he wasn’t breathing when they removed him from the scene. Scott died at the hospital, a fact the woman would learn from the news while livestreaming.
The Facebook Live and account of the witness has since been taken down.
Before learning about Scott’s death, the woman bemoans the 20 minutes it took for Scott to receive help.
“CMC is right down the street,” she commented, referring to the Carolinas Medical Center where he was pronounced dead.
She also commented that the place where Scott was shot was where he would go read, because he couldn’t do anything else. She also claimed that her father was afraid of the police.
Another man in the same area as Lyric Scott used Facebook Live to talk to an older man claiming to be a witness who also claimed to have seen the book in Scott’s hands and also stated that Scott was disabled and standing in the same place that he waits for his son every day.
The officer who shot him has been identified as Brentley Vinson, a CMPD metro officer since July 2014, according to WSOC.
After the shooting, over 100 people gathered to protest. Live feeds of the protest have been shut down after protesters turned their anger towards the media and threw bottles at them. One officer was injured during the demonstrations, but CMPD News tweeted that it was non-life threatening.