Cell-phone video of the moments before and after Charlotte police shot Keith Lamont Scott made its way online today. While it reveals what happened immediately before and after the 43-year-old was killed, it does not show the moment when police fired the shots that killed him. The video, published by NBC News and the New York Times, was shot by Scott’s wife, Rakeyia, who can be heard telling police, “Don’t shoot him. He has no weapon.” After shots are fired, she repeatedly says, “He better live.”
The video does little to answer the question of whether Scott had a gun. His family says he had a book, but police say they found a gun on the scene. In the video, Rakeyia Scott tells police he does not have a gun as police are telling her husband to “drop the gun.” At one point, she can be heard telling police, “He has a T.B.I. (traumatic brain injury). He is not going to do anything to you guys. He just took his medicine.”
Justin Bamberg, one of the Scott family’s lawyers, said they wanted the video released not because it proves the shooting was unjustified, but because it provides “another vantage point” of Scott’s killing. The police have other videos of the incident taken by the body cameras of the officers who were on the scene, and the Scott family, along with protesters, has called for that video to be released to the public. That, however, may not happen, thanks to a North Carolina state law making body-cam footage more difficult to access that goes into effect October 1.