The police in Charlotte, North Carolina, shot and killed a black man — a father of seven children — on Tuesday while searching for a wanted person.
The shooting occurred in the 9600 block of Old Concord Road, the Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department said in a statement. According to the police, they were searching for a suspect with an outstanding warrant at the Village at College Downs apartment complex, when 43-year-old Keith Lamont Scott got out of a car with a gun in his hand.
The subject “posed an imminent deadly threat to officers, who subsequently fired their weapon striking the subject,” said the police.
But the victim’s family tells a different version of the story. They say Scott was reading a book in the car while waiting for his son by the bus stop and that he was unarmed and disabled. Yet police have argued against that narrative saying they didn't find a book at the scene.
"I can also tell you we did not find a book," Charlotte's police chief, Kerr Putney, said. "We did find a weapon."
Police identified Officer Brentley Vinson as the shooter, and noted he was in plainclothes and not wearing a body camera during the incident. However, other officers on the scene were equipped with body cameras.
Scott’s daughter, Lyric, said, “The police just shot my daddy four times for being black. They Tased him first and then shot him.” She also streamed a live video on Facebook showing the site where her father was shot.
Police Chief Kerry Putney clarified Scott was not the person they were looking to arrest but added they “don’t know if there was a connection.”
The police department also said the officers on the scene immediately started administering medical aid to the victim and took him to Carolinas Medical Center where he succumbed to his wounds.
“Detectives recovered the firearm the subject was holding at the time of the shooting at the scene,” police said. “Detectives are currently interviewing witnesses who witnessed the accident.”
The officer who fired the fatal shot is also black and identified as Brentley Vinson. The police said he has been put on administrative leave following the fatal shooting.
Scott is the sixth person killed by the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department in the past year, WSOC-TV reports, out of which the district attorney found the first five shootings were justified.
No police video has of yet emerged of the incident, which is not surprising, since North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory recently signed legislation that restricts public access to police recordings.
The unjust killing has sparked protests at the scene of the shooting and the family and friends of the deceased are calling out for justice.
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