Scott family 'disappointed' in DA's decision, asks that protests - | WBTV Charlotte

Scott family 'disappointed' in DA's decision, asks that protests remain peaceful

(Source: Family of Keith Lamont Scott) (Source: Family of Keith Lamont Scott)

The family of Keith Lamont Scott, the man fatally shot by officer Brentley Vinson in September, says they are "disappointed" with the District Attorney's decision not to criminally charge the officer. 

The decision was announced Wednesday by Mecklenburg County District Attorney Andrew Murray, that Vinson "acted lawfully" in shooting Scott. 

RELATED: Charlotte officer will not face charges in shooting death of Keith Scott

The family was reportedly too emotional to address the media after the decision was announced, so they released a written statement.

Below is a statement issued from Scott's family: 

We wish to express our thanks and gratitude to Mecklenburg County District Attorney Andrew Murray, his office and the SBI for the respect they have shown the Scott family and for their willingness to explain how they conducted their investigation and the conclusions they reached. 

We are profoundly disappointed in their decision not to criminally charge Officer Brantley Vinson for his actions in taking the life of Keith Lamont Scott.   

While we understand that many in the Charlotte area share our frustration and pain, we ask that everyone work together to fix the system that allowed this tragedy to happen in the first place.  

All our family wanted was justice and for these members of law enforcement to understand that what they did was wrong.   

We respectfully ask that you please keep any protests that may occur peaceful.  Responding to violence with violence is never an appropriate response.  This is just one more step in our quest for justice. 

Scott family lawyers tell WBTV they were 99% sure Murray would make that ruling.  They argue just because Murray came to that conclusion doesn't mean the case is closed. 

"We still have real questions about the decisions that were made that day," Scott family lawyer Charles Monnett III said.  "In terms of how they confronted Keith, how they reacted to the information that he had a brain injury and whether they used the appropriate de-escalating techniques."

The lawyers say they will soon conduct their own investigation. The DA will release the files to the family attorneys. 

"We look forward to have an opportunity to review the entire investigative file," Monnett said. "We think we will see information in there perhaps they didn't."

The lawyers argue just because the officer was cleared of criminal wrongdoing, doesn't mean what he did was right and should go unpunished. 

This is the message the lawyers have to the community.

"Keep an open mind," Family lawyer Eduardo Curry said.  "To have a reasonableness to remain objective and to support this family in their quest for justice."

The lawyers say if they find CMPD officers, involved with the fatal shooting, didn't follow all department policies or procedures, they could file a civil lawsuit.    

One dispute the family lawyers addressed was did Scott have a weapon at the time of the shooting.  Scott's wife argued her husband didn't have a weapon that day.

"I think it is safe to say yes he did have gun on his person during the course of this - it's a matter of where that firearm was," Scott family attorney Justin Bamberg said. "At the end of the day whether he had a firearm in his hand or not, that's not the key question in terms of determining if Keith Scott should have lost his life. It is whether or not the officer should have pulled the trigger."

According to the lawyer, Scott’s wife is relieved her husband's death is bringing about change. Charlotte city leaders are now talking about affordable housing, economic empowerment, and the judicial system. 

"She's happy that at least like some good things are going to come out of this." Monnett said. 

While the lawyers wait to review the files from the DA's office, they have a message for people who are not pleased with the DA's decision.  

"There is no excuse for violence," Monnett said. "We implore everyone to protest peacefully and be respectful of everyone's rights."

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