The family of a black man shot and killed by a Charlotte police officer called for body and dashboard camera footage of the shooting to be made public Thursday, as hundreds of protesters took to the city’s streets for a third consecutive night.
The protests initially appeared to be peaceful. However, the city’s mayor and police imposed a midnight-to-6 a.m. curfew. Demonstrators chanted “release the tape” while briefly blocking an intersection near Bank of America headquarters in the heart of the city’s business district before moving on.
In response to the request from the family of Keith Lamont Scott, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Chief Kerr Putney told Fox News’ Megyn Kelly on “The Kelly File” that the decision to release the video was not up to him, but added “I think [releasing the footage] is probably the better option right now.”
Putney said that local police were no longer leading the investigation into Tuesday’s shooting and the decision to release the footage rested with the State Bureau of Investigation.
Police have said that Scott was shot to death by a black officer after he disregarded loud, repeated warnings to drop his gun. Neighbors, though, have said he was holding only a book. The police chief said a gun was found next to the dead man, and there was no book.
Putney acknowledged on “The Kelly File” that the video “is not the most definitive piece of evidence we would have hoped for,” but added “there is a lot of other evidence that gives us a great deal of support and comfort.”
Putney also denied claims by some protesters that a man who died after being shot during Wednesday’s demonstration was hit by a rubber bullet fired by police. City officials have said the man, identified as 26-year-old Justin Carr, was shot by another civilian.
“The facts and truth lead me to believe that the version [of Carr’s death] we gave initially is the actual truth,” Putney said.
Earlier Thursday, Scott’s family viewed the shooting footage. Justin Bamberg, an attorney for Scott’s family, said the video showed Scott getting out of his vehicle calmly.
“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. It is impossible to discern from the videos what, if anything, Mr. Scott is holding in his hands,” Bamberg said in a statement.
Scott was shot as he walked slowly backward with his hands by his side, Bamberg said.
“After watching the videos,” the attorney said, “the family again has more questions than answers.”