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Charlotte shooting: Police release videos after days of unrest

Protesters hold signs while marching to demonstrate against the police shooting of Keith Scott in Charlotte, North Carolina, U.S., September 23, 2016. Photograph: (Reuters)

Charlotte, NC, United States Sep 25, 2016, 02.46 AM (IST)

Following days of protests, Charlotte police on Saturday released video footage of the shooting incident of a 43-year-old African-American man, who was killed during an encounter with officers in the state of North Carolina. 

The Tuesday shooting of Keith Lamont Scott triggered widespread unrest in the southern US city as residents, agitating against the 'racial bias' by police, demanded release of the footage. 

In one of the videos, a dashboard camera from a police car showed Keith exiting his car and backing away from it, Reuters reported today.

Cops shout to him to drop the gun, but it is not clear in the video if he is holding a weapon his hand. Keith later drops to ground amid gunfire by the police. 

In a second body camera video,  Keith is seen on the ground in the moments after he was shot as officers surround him, according to AFP. 

According to the international news agency, police had previously refused to release the dash-cam and body-cam footage. 

Charlotte-Mecklenburg police chief Kerr Putney, however, said on Saturday that people "want to see the facts, objective facts. And that's what we're presenting."

"People can interpret anything they want based on one piece of evidence, and I can tell you, I suspect they will, based on the video footage. But what I say is, you have to put all pieces together," he  was quoted as saying by AFP. 

Before releasing the footage, Putney also said that the videos themselves were "insufficient" to prove that Scott held a gun. But the totality of evidence did, he stressed according to Reuters.

Meanwhile, Scott's family lawyer Justin Bamberg told reporters at a press conference that despite the new videos, it was still impossible to "clearly identify what, if anything, is in his hand, and that has not changed," AFP reported.

On Saturday, the demonstrations entered a fifth day in Charlotte as residents demanded an end of emergency measured imposed in the city this week. 

Keith's killing is the latest in a series of deadly police encounters across the country in recent years that raises questions about the use of force by US law enforcement against African-Americans and other minorities.

(WION with inputs from AFP, Reuters) 

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