CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department has requested that an independent, non-governmental research organization review its policies and procedures in the wake of the Keith Lamont Scott shooting.
CMPD has asked The Police Foundation, based in Washington D.C. to look at its policies as well as its relationship with the community.
"It's time not only to start healing, but to get to work on finding solutions that maintain and build trust between our officers and our community," said Police Chief Kerr Putney. "We are open to making changes in how we do business. But I will not make impulsive decisions in response to demands. Any changes we make in our policies or procedures will be thoroughly, deliberately and thoughtfully considered."
According to CMPD, The Foundation will review CMPD's work in connection with the Scott shooing on September 20 as well as its relationship with the community prior to last month.
Scott, 43, was shot and killed in northeast Charlotte on September 20 at The Village at College Downs apartment complex on Old Concord Road.
CMPD says plainclothes officers were in the area to serve a warrant on another person when they encountered Scott. That encounter ended in Scott being shot and killed.
"The assessment will include input from a diverse group of community members, and will result in recommendations for moving forward," CMPD said. "The Police Foundation's work will be influenced by and shared with all members of the community."
Various groups have called for the release of the police videos, along with changes to CMPD in the wake of the shooting. CMPD said Chief Putney and his team are carefully reviewing them all.
In the short-term, he is committed to taking the following steps:
- Solidify and make public the department’s procedure for releasing body worn camera footage, so there is a consistent and transparent process moving forward.
- Continue making preparations to equip tactical officers with body worn cameras. Patrol officers and tactical officers will wear body worn cameras both while working on and off duty assignments, as soon as additional cameras are purchased and officers are trained.
- Continue discussing the possibility of subpoena powers for the Citizens Review Board with its External Advisory Committee. Note: This change would require legislative action.
- Review policies, procedures and training related to de-escalation techniques. We will continue to refine our response to protest situations, emphasizing communication with lawful protesters through the use of bicycle and regularly-uniformed officers. CMPD will continue to authorize the use of protective equipment only in response to violence, property damage and non-compliance.
Interim City Manager Ron Kimble pledged to work with Chief Putney, the Mayor and City Council to appropriate the public and/or private funds necessary for the assessment.
"I applaud Chief Putney's decision to invite the Police Foundation to review the department and its policies," said Interim City Manager Ron Kimble. "Fostering trust between our police department and our community is important to all of us, and we are very proud of the hard work that our men and women commit to every day. We look forward to learning more from this review and continuing conversations with the community."