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Keith Lamont Scott Tag

No charges are to be filed against the police officer who shot and killed Keith Lamont Scott last September in Charlotte NC, announced Mecklenburg County District Attorney Andrew Murray today, reports CNN and other news outlets. Both Scott and the officer who shot him, Charlotte-Mecklenburg police Officer Brentley Vinson, are black. As has long since become the common pattern in police shootings of black male suspects, considerable early effort was put into creating a false narrative that was negative to the police. For example, Scott’s spouse claimed that he was not armed at the time police shot him. In fact, a gun extensively covered in Scott’s DNA was found at the scene beside his body. As another example, Scott’s daughter claimed that her father was merely reading a book when police shot him. In fact, no book was found at the scene.

We've been covering the Charlotte protests here at LI, and the lasted development is quite a doozy.  They've released a list of demands that boggles the mind and steps perilously close to the federal definition of terrorism. Mediaite reports:
Protestors in Charlotte have made quite a few demands over when they’ll end their rallies, not the least of which are the “demilitarization” and “defunding” of the city’s police department. The death of Keith Lamont Scott sparked major unrest over the past few days, which created enough pressure on Charlotte police that they released their body cam footage of the fatal encounter. Even so, protest participants of are circulating an online set of terms for when they’ll call it quits completely, and…it’s a pretty sizable assortment.

The Charlotte Police have released body and dashboard cam videos. While the video does not show enough of what happened to show a gun in hand, police say that Keith Lamont Scott had a gun when police shot him, and the video shows police yelling to "drop the gun" as he turned towards them and was shot. While the video in itself does not resolve the legal issue of whether the shooting was lawful, it completely contradicts the initial narrative that Scott was holding or pointing a book. WSOC-TV reports on the scenario presented by the police upon the release of the evidence:
Two plain clothes officers were sitting inside of their unmarked police vehicle preparing to serve an arrest warrant in the parking lot of The Village at College Downs when a white SUV pulled in and parked beside them. The officers saw the driver, later identified as Keith Lamont Scott, rolling what they believed to be a marijuana “blunt.” Officers did not consider Scott’s drug activity to be a priority at the time and they resumed the warrant operation. A short time later, Officer Vinson saw Scott hold a gun up.

The details on the Charlotte riots and attacks on motorists trapped on the highway and others are in our earlier post. Instapundit (law professor Glenn Reynolds) was suspended from Twitter (then later reinstated) after posting the following tweet as those riots and highway blockades were ongoing: Instapundit Tweet Charlotte Riots Professor Jacobson has asked me to address whether such an act would be lawful as a justified act of self-defense.  I'm on a flight now using airplane WiFi, so I'll make this quick. (Before I go on, however, I should point out that Professor Reynolds has added some important context to his pithy tweet, and these later comments can be found at the link above.)

The rioting in Charlotte turned even uglier overnight, after the apparently false claim that a black man was shot dead by police for pointing a book. All evidence so far shows that the "victim" was a career criminal who had a gun and turned towards police. This appears to be another false media narrative, just like "hands up, don't shoot" in the Michael Brown case, but it was enough to spark mobs of racist rioters and looters who attacked people and each other, including people trapped in cars. Anyone who was old enough to remember the 1992 Los Angeles riots after the police in the Rodney King case were found not guilty is old enough to remember Reginald Denny:

Tuesday night Charlotte police shot and killed an African-American man later identified as Keith Lamont Scott. A woman claiming to be Scott's daughter says Scott was unarmed, reading a book when he was shot and killed. Officers say that story is false, that they recovered a handgun and there was no book to be found. Following the shooting, hundreds crowded into streets and freeways to protest police brutality, maintaining Scott was unarmed, equipped with nothing but a book.
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