Charlotte’s police chief said Thursday he plans to show video of an officer shooting a black man to the slain man’s family, but the video won’t be immediately released to the public.
Charlottte-Mecklenburg Police Chief Kerr Putney told reporters during a news conference that the video does not definitively show 43-year-old Keith Lamont Scott pointing a gun at anyone.
“The video does not give me absolute, definitive visual evidence that would confirm that a person is pointing a gun,” Putney said.
Putney said he is working to honor the request from the family of Scott to view the video. It’s unclear when or if the video might be released publicly.
“Right now my priority is the people who really are the victims of the shooting,” Putney said. “I’m telling you right now if you think I say we should display a victim’s worst day for consumption, that is not the transparency I’m speaking of.”
The video could be key to resolving the chasm between police, who say Scott refused repeated commands to drop his gun, and residents who say he was unarmed.
Residents say Scott was unarmed, holding only a book, and disabled by a brain injury. But it’s unclear what the body cameras worn by three officers who were present during the shooting during the shooting may have captured. The plainclothes officer who shot Scott, Brently Vinson, was not wearing a camera. He has been placed on leave, standard procedure in such cases. Vinson is black.
As officials tried to quell the unrest, at least three major businesses were asking their employees to stay home for the day as the city remained on edge. Mayor Jennifer Roberts told CBS News correspondent Kris Van Cleave Thursday morning that she had not seen the video.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.