Expected to be released to the media any minute now (maybe?) is the video footage Charlotte police say they have of the fatal shooting of Keith Lamont Scott.
Protesters have been demanding to see the video, but Chief Kerr Putney is letting the public know in advance that proof that Scott was in possession of a firearm is to be found elsewhere.
Well, Chief Putney was letting the public know, but the series of tweets announcing the release of footage disappeared suddenly just as the footage was to appear. Here’s a screenshot:
Why did @CMPD erase all their tweets from the last hour? What is wrong with you guys? You're making Ferguson PD look competent by comparison
— Alice Speri (@alicesperi) September 24, 2016
— Meg Kinnard (@MegKinnardAP) September 24, 2016
Both that the tweets have vanished and that the video isn’t definitive are a little disconcerting to hear. After all, despite claims of African Americans being hunted down by police, it’s the handful of incidents that are caught on video that for the most part have become hashtags and inspired protests.
No matter how much evidence exists otherwise, people will be expecting video proof.
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And it seems the videos are out after all, as well as photos of the gun they said Scott had in his possession.
BREAKING: We are now in possession of the video. We are currently working to turn it around. pic.twitter.com/Fksox1MUk1
— WSOCTV (@wsoctv) September 24, 2016
— Mark Davenport WBTV (@TheDavenReport) September 24, 2016
Video and statement of events on the shooting of Scott from Charlotte police. Not sure this will calm things down. https://t.co/WkkWiarEQh
— Josh Jordan (@NumbersMuncher) September 24, 2016
Here’s the first video, with more reportedly to follow:
Police also released a statement in connection with the video, reprinted in full here:
There have been numerous unconfirmed reports published in the media concerning this case. The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department has prepared the following case update to provide factual information about the officer-involved shooting.
Two plain clothes officers were sitting inside of their unmarked police vehicle preparing to serve an arrest warrant in the parking lot of The Village at College Downs, when a white SUV pulled in and parked beside of them.
The officers observed the driver, later identified as Mr. Keith Lamont Scott, 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. A short time later, Officer Vinson observed Mr. Scott hold a gun up.
Because of that, the officers had probable cause to arrest him for the drug violation and to further investigate Mr. Scott being in possession of the gun.
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. Officers departed the immediate area to outfit themselves with marked duty vests and equipment that would clearly identify them as police officers.
Upon returning, the officers again witnessed Mr. Scott in possession of a gun. The officers immediately identified themselves as police officers and gave clear, loud and repeated verbal commands to drop the gun. Mr. Scott refused to follow the officers repeated verbal commands.
A uniformed officer in a marked patrol vehicle arrived to assist the officers. The uniformed officer utilized his baton to attempt to breach the front passenger window in an effort to arrest Mr. Scott.
Mr. Scott then exited 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. Officers immediately rendered first aid and requested Medic to respond to the scene.
Homicide Unit Detectives interviewed multiple independent civilian witnesses at the scene and at police headquarters. Those witnesses confirmed that officers gave numerous loud verbal commands for Mr. Scott to drop the weapon and also confirmed that at no time did Mr. Scott comply with their commands.
A lab analysis conducted of the gun crime scene investigators recovered at the scene revealed the presence of Mr. Scott’s DNA and his fingerprints on the gun. It was also determined that the gun Mr. Scott possessed was loaded at the time of the encounter with the officers. The investigation also revealed that Mr. Scott was wearing an ankle holster at the time of the event.
Attached are photos of the gun, ankle holster and marijuana “blunt” in Mr. Scott’s possession at the time of the incident. Additionally, links to the portion of the digital mobile video recorder (dash-cam) and body worn camera footage that capture the time of the shooting are included below.
The body worn camera illustrates the footage from the moment it was turned on until officers began rendering first aid to Mr. Scott
The dash-cam footage is from the time in which the officer operating the car with the dash-cam video arrives on the scene until officers began rendering first aid to Mr. Scott.
If true, my Q is, do you shoot a guy simply for not dropping a gun? Is that sufficient to constitute a threat? https://t.co/7RtjEO4ChL
— Tim Carney (@TPCarney) September 24, 2016
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And here’s the dash cam footage:
— CBS News (@CBSNews) September 24, 2016
— Jeff Stilwell (@StilwellChuckle) September 24, 2016
@CBSNews why did they wait so long to release such a pointless video?
— Christopher (@christophemm1) September 24, 2016
@CBSNews if you're thinking this vid supports your position, whatever it is, you're wrong. Can't tell shit from this one way or another
— JPMcKee (@M16a2223) September 24, 2016
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… And we have an explanation for the disappearing tweets.
— CMPD News (@CMPD) September 24, 2016
Twitchy will update this post later as details become available.