CMPD releases body camera, dash-cam footage in Keith Lamont Scott case

RAW VIDEO: CMPD releases body cam from deadly police shooting
Published: Sep. 24, 2016 at 5:14 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 25, 2016 at 4:52 AM EDT
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(Source: Family of Keith Lamont Scott)
(Source: Family of Keith Lamont Scott)
(Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police)
(Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police)
(Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police)
(Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police)
(Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police)
(Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police)

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - CMPD has released dash-cam and body camera video showing officers' encounter with Keith Lamont Scott that led to Scott's death, as well as previously unreleased photos and information about what led to the incident.

It's video that Scott's family has been wanting to have released to the public. CMPD Chief Kerr Putney initially said he did not want it to be released to protect the integrity of the investigation.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Chief Kerr Putney held a press conference at 4:30 p.m. Saturday. During the press conference, Putney said the department would be releasing body camera as well as dashcam video of the incident.

The videos were released at 6:30 p.m., along with photos of the gun police said Scott had and new information about the encounter.

The video was provided to WBTV and other media outlets by the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department. WBTV cannot authenticate at this time that the video and audio hasn't been edited or altered before it was provided to the station.

VIDEO FOR MOBILE USERS: Click here to see the body camera video | Click here to see the dash camera video

"I've decided we're at a stage where we can release this video without negatively impacting investigation," Putney said during Saturday's press conference. "My goal has been throughout entire process is to maintain integrity of case."

Putney said he believes it is in the community's best interest to release the video. He said he is releasing what he sees as "indisputable evidence that the facts we started with are the facts that remain."

Scott, 43, was killed Tuesday while police were serving a warrant at The Village at College Downs apartment complex on Old Concord Road, in northeast Charlotte. His death sparked protesting across the city, erupting into violence.

Scott's family has said he did not own a gun, but police said they recovered a gun at the scene of the shooting. Friday, a police source confirmed to WBTV that a gun reportedly found near the body of Keith Lamont Scott has Scott's fingerprints, DNA and blood on it. The source also told WBTV the case in the gun was loaded.

At Saturday's press conference, Putney said Scott was "absolutely in possession of a handgun."

In a press release that included the videos and pictures, police said officers were at the apartment complex to serve a warrant unrelated to Scott. They said Scott pulled into the parking lot and parked beside the unmarked police vehicle officers were in, then began rolling what they believed to be a marijuana "blunt."

"Officers did not consider Mr. Scott's drug activity to be a priority at the time and they resumed the warrant operation," the release states. "A short time later, Officer Vinson observed Mr. Scott hold a gun up."

RELATED: Police source: Gun found near Keith Scott's body had his fingerprints, DNA on it

"Due to the combination of illegal drugs and the gun Mr. Scott had in his possession, officers decided to take enforcement action for public safety concerns," the release continued. "Officers departed the immediate area to outfit themselves with marked duty vests and equipment that would clearly identify them as police officers."

When they returned, the report states, officers saw Scott in possession of a gun for the second time. The officers then identified themselves as police officers and "gave clear, loud and repeated verbal commands to drop the gun." They said Scott refused to follow those commands.

That's when an officer in uniform and in a marked vehicle arrived to assist, and "utilized his baton to attempt to breach the front passenger window in an effort to arrest" Scott. This is the vehicle police said the dash-cam video was recorded from.

The release states Scott then got out of the vehicle with the gun and "backed away from the vehicle while continuing to ignore officers' repeated loud verbal commands to drop the gun."

"Officer Vinson perceived Mr. Scott's actions and movements as an imminent physical threat to himself and the other officers. Officer Vinson fired his issued service weapon, striking Mr. Scott," the release states. "Officers immediately rendered first aid and requested Medic to respond to the scene."

Putney said his department is not pressing charges against Vinson.

During Saturday's press conference, CMPD was live-tweeting. Those tweets were later deleted, until questions began being asked. CMPD then said the tweets were not supposed to be deleted and would be put back up.

CMPD says video does not give probable cause

Earlier in the week, Putney did not fully describe what he saw in the video but said the video, along with evidence gathered at the scene, supports what they've said since the beginning of the investigation.

Putney said he had seen one video from body cam and one video from dash cam, and that more evidence is still coming in. "The video evidence doesn't solely get us to probable cause," Putney said.

RELATED: CMPD chief: Video evidence doesn't get us to probable cause

Vinson, the officer who opened fire, was not wearing a body camera, according to Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Chief Kerr Putney. Putney said other uniformed officers on scene were wearing cameras. Vinson was reportedly wearing plain clothes and a clearly marked CMPD vest.

"I can tell you a weapon was seized, a handgun," Putney said during a previous news conference earlier in the week, discussing what was recovered from the scene. "I can also tell you we did not find a book that has been made referenced to."

CMPD said a lab analysis of the gun recovered "revealed the presence of Mr. Scott's DNA and his fingerprints on the gun." They said the gun was loaded and that Scott was wearing an ankle holster at the time.

Family calls for CMPD to release video

Family viewed the video Thursday, saying they then had "more questions than answers."

"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."

RELATED: Family, police see different tale in same videos

"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.

Scott family releases video recorded by wife

Friday, WBTV obtained a video recorded by Scott's wife, Rakeiya Scott. The 2 ½-minute shows his wife repeatedly telling officers he is not armed and pleading with them not to shoot as they shout commands to drop a gun. Her footage does not show the shooting, though gunshots can be heard.

RELATED: Graphic video shows deadly encounter between Charlotte police, Keith Scott

NC Governor Pat McCrory released a statement just before 4:30 p.m. confirming the videos were going to be released.

"As governor of North Carolina, I concur with the Charlotte police chief's decision to release the tapes. I have been assured by the State Bureau of Investigation that the release will have no material impact on the independent investigation since most of the known witnesses have been interviewed," the statement read. "We have appreciated the ongoing dialogue and team work between state and city officials to seek public transparency while protecting the integrity of the investigation and the rights of all parties involved in this case."

Charlotte Mayor Jennifer Roberts also released a statement about the video's release.

"I fully support the videos being released to the public," Roberts wrote. "I have been calling for the release of the videos as soon as possible and now that the family has viewed it on Thursday afternoon and interviews with witnesses are complete, releasing it to the public is the right thing to do to ensure transparency and accountability. I want the citizens of Charlotte to view the video to see the incident for themselves. Transparency and accountability are critical in this process."

The investigation has been turned over to the State Bureau of Investigation, but CMPD still has the authority to release it when they decide to do so.

"The SBI has dedicated significant resources to investigate this case and will report back to the District Attorney when the investigation is completed," the SBI said in a statement. "Regarding the video of the event captured by CMPD cameras, CMPD remains the custodian of the original recording and as such has the legal authority to release it."

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