Independent review board clears Charlotte officer in Keith Scott shooting

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Friday, April 21, 2017
Keith Lamont Scott
Keith Lamont Scott

CHARLOTTE (WTVD) -- The Charlotte police officer who shot and killed Keith Lamont Scott on Sept. 20, 2016, has been cleared by an Independent Shooting Review Board, ABC affiliate WSOC learned Friday.

The report determined that Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officer Brentley Vinson was justified in shooting Scott, who was armed and exited his vehicle while ignoring police commands.

WSOC reached out Friday to the Scott family attorney, who said the family received the report Friday, and added that he already plans to appeal the board's decision to the Citizen's Review Board.

The Mecklenburg County's district attorney already cleared officer Vinson of any wrongdoing last November.

Officer Brentley Vinson

But in March, an Independent Shooting Review Board went over the five-page report, witness testimony and evidence.

The report lays out every move CMPD officers made before and after the deadly encounter with Scott.

Vinson and several other undercover officers were preparing to serve outstanding warrants on another suspect in a northwest Charlotte complex when they saw Scott in a white SUV.

The officers decided to approach Scott after one of the officers observed him rolling a marijuana blunt, and at one point, said he lifted a small handgun.

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Vinson felt he needed to fire his weapon during the chaotic confrontation.

In the report, Vinson said, "I felt like if I didn't do anything right then at that point, it's like, he was gonna shoot me or he's going to shoot one of my buddies and it was gonna happen right now so I reacted."

Vinson fired his gun four times.

The independent board felt Vinson's actions were justified because Scott exited his vehicle with a gun and refused officer's commands.

Scott's death sparked days of violent protests and racial unrest across Charlotte last September.

Protesters took to the streets and even blocked Interstate 85 and set fires.

The second night of protests took a deadly turn when a gunshot rang out in front of the Omni Hotel in uptown Charlotte and a protester was shot and killed in a crowd of people.

By the third night, the National Guard was deployed.

Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department

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