The police department in Charlotte will release the body camera and dashcam footage of the fatal police shooting of Keith Scott, Chief Kerr Putney told media Saturday.
Police had previously said they wouldn’t immediately release the footage, citing the need to protect the integrity of the investigation. But on Friday, North Carolina’s State Bureau of Investigation, which had taken over the probe into the incident, said the city was free to release the video.
Putney said he made the decision to release the footage when he received assurance from the agency that the release of the video wouldn’t adversely impact its investigation.
Putney told media the video doesn’t definitively show Scott pointing a gun when officers fatally shot him, but he said Scott was “absolutely in possession of a handgun” as well as marijuana when officers approached him. He said police had a “compelling” reason to approach Scott, and no officers will be charged in the shooting at this point.
“There was a crime that he had committed that caused that encounter, and then the gun exacerbated that situation,” Putney said. “They were reacting to what they saw, and they have a duty to do so. They received an imminent threat.”
A cellphone video taken by Scott’s wife Rakeyia was also released Friday and showed the moments before and after the shooting, but not the shooting itself.
In that video, Rakeyia can be heard repeatedly telling officers, “He has no weapon,” and the officers can be heard repeatedly saying to Scott, “Drop the gun.”
Scott’s shooting on Tuesday set off several nights of unrest in Charlotte. Violent protests Tuesday and Wednesday night prompted Gov. Pat McCrory to declare a state of emergency and the city to set a midnight curfew.
Demonstrations continued Thursday and Friday evening, but remained mostly calm.