CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- The family of Keith Lamont Scott, the man shot and killed by a Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police officer in September, watched hours of previously-unreleased dash cam and body cam video Tuesday.
Scott's family requested to see the videos in their entirety, and CMPD said they intended to accommodate that request this week. The family had been asking for the release of the video for weeks.
Though they're not ready to address the public, the family did send their attorneys to address the videos at a news conference Tuesday evening.
After watching the video, attorneys for Keith Scott says there are still a lot of questions.
The video hasn't brought the family any clarification, the attorneys said, as it's still too hard to see if Keith Scott did, in fact, have a gun-- and if he did, as police have said, the family doesn't believe police had a justifiable reason to shoot him.
"It's very difficult to watch. It's difficult for a wife to watch, and what you’re seeing is real life. There are real life consequences to the decision that an officer makes to pull the trigger," attorney Justin Bamberg said.
WARNING: THE VIDEOS BELOW ARE GRAPHIC; VIEWER DISCRETION IS ADVISED.
On mobile? Click here to watch the dash cam video.
On mobile? Click here to watch the body cam video.
"What the officer should have done is give Keith step-by-step commands," says family attorney Charles Monnett.
The Scott family and their attorneys stand by the belief that police did not do all they could to de-escalate the situation.
The video shows Scott stepping back from officers with his arms down by his side when he was fatally shot in the back, abdomen and wrist. However, police say he had a gun and they were afraid for their safety and the safety of nearby civilians.
"There's nothing on any of those videos to lead a reasonable person to believe Keith Scott was about to harm any of those officers," Monnett said. "He's backing up. If you watch with the sound off and try to figure out if there's some movement that justifies when these shots are fired, you won't see it."
"We still don’t know and this video does not shine any light on whether or not a firearm was found or was in his possession or where it was found. Those questions still remain," Bamberg said.
"You do hear officers make reference to a gun. You do not hear that it is in his hand or anything like that," Bamberg said. "In fact, it’s my belief that if that firearm was within that section of his body you would have seen it because the officer with the body camera was standing right there."
"When you look at the actions of Mr. Scott on film and you watch him die on this video, does the death that he suffered match with to the actions that he took during those moments before he was killed. And it’s our position that right now they don’t," Bamberg said.
NBC Charlotte joined other media organizations in sending a formal request to CMPD on September 27, officially demanding all footage and other public records connected to Keith Scott's fatal encounter with Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police. Scott was fatally shot by a CMPD officer on Tuesday, September 20.
Police say that two plain-clothes officers were sitting inside an unmarked police car 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 them.
In a release distributed by CMPD with the evidence, officers witnessed Scott rolling what they believed to be a marijuana "blunt." Police say that the officers did not consider Scott's drug activity to be a priority at the time and resumed warrant operations. A short time later, Officer Vinson saw Scott hold up a gun, which CMPD says gave him probable cause to arrest him for the drug violation and further investigate his possession of the gun.
CMPD says due to the combination of drugs and the gun Scott had in his possession, officers decided to take enforcement action for public safety concerns. Officers then departed the immediate area to outfit themselves with marked vets and equipment that would identify them as police.
Police say that when officers returned, they again saw Scott in possession of a gun and loudly identified themselves as police and gave "clear, loud and repeated" verbal commands to drop the gun. Investigators say that Scott refused to follow the officers' repeated verbal commands.
CMPD said Scott put officers in imminent danger, and an officer fired, striking Scott.
Scott's shooting sparked protests across Charlotte, resulting in damaged property, a murder, assaults and dozens of arrests.
According to the funeral home's website, Scott's funeral, scheduled for Thursday in James Island, South Carolina, has been canceled due to Hurricane Matthew.
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