Pressure rises for release of all Charlotte videos

Andrea Blanford Image
Wednesday, September 28, 2016
A look at police use of bodycam
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The I-Team takes a closer look at bodycams.

CHARLOTTE (WTVD) -- People protesting the death of a black man by a black police officer in Charlotte are piling on the pressure, calling on authorities to release all videos related to the incident that sent the Queen City into chaos one week ago.

Friends and family were planning to honor Keith Lamont Scott with a vigil Tuesday night in the parking lot at Village of College Downs where he was shot and killed.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Chief Kerr Putney released two videos: one from a police dashboard camera and another from an officer's body worn camera. During a news conference Saturday, he said more footage of the incident was available, but the videos he was making public were specific to the incident. He said other footage would be released when the investigation, now being handled by the State Bureau of Investigation, is complete.

In the videos released, it is unclear whether Scott was holding a gun at the time an officer shot him.

The dispute has led to a week's worth of protests that at times, have turned violent; Justin Carr, a protester, died after police said a civilian shot him during a clash with officers outside the Omni Hotel in uptown. An arrest has been made in Carr's death.


During the first Charlotte City Council meeting since Scott's death, protesters packed city hall to participate in a Citizen's Forum.

Mayor Jennifer Roberts struggled to keep order as people interrupted speakers, chanting "no justice, no peace" and "all lives matter when black lives matter."

Only one man spoke in support of Chief Putney. All other people who signed up to speak either threatened to vote out the entire city council or called on Putney and Mayor Roberts to resign; their distrust of city leaders and the police department on full display.

"If your officers can break proper protocol, is it OK for me to shoot back because I fear for my life?" Nicole Jackson asked.

Another speaker, Bill Fiesser, asked specifically about the video that was made public. "How is releasing one body camera's footage when there are four officers present the right thing?"

WATCH: Scott's wife twice filed protective orders against him

Keith Scott's wife twice filed restraining orders, one as recently as last year.

The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Dept. has a lengthy policy on how police body cameras are to be worn, when, and what happens with that video.

Putney has not made it clear whether all officers who responded to the scene off Old Concord Rd. last Tuesday were wearing body cameras and if so, had them turned on.

CMPD's policy on body cameras clearly states, "It is the responsibility of the officer to ensure the BWC (body worn camera) is activated, operating, and positioned to record the events specified in this directive."

The policy then states that while on duty, officers should have their BWCs turned on and activated to record "prior to or in anticipation of" a number of circumstances which include, "suspicious vehicles or persons."

Putney said officers approached Scott who was sitting in an SUV after seeing him rolling a marijuana joint and holding a gun.

After shots were fired, audio can finally be heard from an officer's body camera.

A camera can capture video up to 30 seconds before it's activated, but will only record audio once an officer manually activates it, explained Jessica Wallin, CMPD spokesperson.

"We're going to keep standing up and fighting until we receive all the evidence," said the Rev. Raymond Johnson to a loud cheer of support from the crowd during Monday night's Citizen's Forum.

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