CMPD chief: Video evidence doesn't get us to probable cause
CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Charlotte officials updated the community Friday following the third night of protests over the fatal shooting of Keith Lamont Scott.
The press conference started shortly after 11 a.m. at the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Government Center, located at 600 East Fourth Street.
"Last night was what a lawful demonstration looks like" Mayor Roberts said to open the conference.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Chief Kerr Putney also appeared pleased with the decrease in violence during Thursday night's protests, saying a total of three people were arrested - a much smaller number compared to Wednesday night.
Putney announced a person was arrested in a shooting that left a man dead during Wednesday night's protests.
Scott's family and the public have been asking CMPD to release the police shooting video.
"I had to be convinced not to release video yet," Roberts said Friday. She said she doesn't want to cloud the memory of any witnesses, as they are still being interviewed.
Putney says he has seen one video from bodycam and one video from dashcam, and that more evidence is still coming in. "The video evidence doesn't solely get us to probable cause," Putney said.
Family viewed the video Thursday, saying now they have "more questions than answers."
The curfew was put into place after word circulated that a group was planning to come up from South Carolina to join in on the protests, Putney said. "It is a tool in a tool belt to help us maintain order."
A curfew was issued around 9:15 p.m. Thursday, and lasted from midnight to 6 a.m. It will be in place every day until the State of Emergency is lifted or the official proclamation is revoked.
Schools and daycares are exempt from the curfew, Roberts said.
Overall, three officers and a member of the National Guard received injuries Thursday.
Prior protests were not as peaceful - leaving buildings damaged, dozens arrested, several injured and one person dead.
The protests erupted after Scott, 43, was killed Tuesday while police were serving a warrant at The Village at College Downs apartment complex on Old Concord Road.
"When told by police to exit his vehicle, Mr. Scott did so in a very calm, non-aggressive manner," the statement from the family read. "While police did give him several commands, he did not aggressively approach them or raise his hands at members of law enforcement at any time."
An attorney later told the media that they saw "versions from different angles."
"We believe the time will come where everyone will be able to see what actually happened," he said. "We ask that you all give this family time to mourn."
Several stories have emerged on whether Scott had a gun at the time. Some say he was holding a book. "My understanding is that he did not own a gun, he did not habitually carry a gun," Bamberg said.
Police said they did recover a gun.
"I can tell you a weapon was seized - a handgun," Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Chief Kerr Putney said a press conference Wednesday. "I can also tell you we did not find a book that has been made referenced to."
Bamberg said he has heard several witness accounts, including that a gun was placed at the scene.
The family statement says it is "impossible" to tell if he is holding anything in the videos.
"When he was shot and killed, Mr. Scott's hands were by his side and he was slowly walking backwards," the family said.
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