Mecklenburg County District Attorney Andrew Murray announced Wednesday that no charges will be filed against CMPD Officer Brentley Vinson in the September shooting death of Charlotte resident Keith Lamont Scott:
“All of the credible, available and believable evidence supports the conclusion that Scott was armed with a gun,” Murray said. “That evidence includes DNA, an admission by the seller who illegally sold Scott the gun that was recovered at the scene, and pre-incident radio traffic in which officers can be heard discussing that they saw Scott with a gun.”
During his press conference, Murray outlined the determining factors and evidence that led him to decide that Officer Vinson “acted lawfully.” Key among them was video evidence from a nearby convenience store that showed Keith Lamont Scott entering the store with a visible bulge on his ankle shortly before the shooting at College Downs on Old Concord Road:
Murray drew attention to Scott’s right ankle, saying “the bulge you see here,” pointing to Scott’s right ankle, is consistent with the gun and holster recovered from the scene.
“According to the evidence presented, Scott drew a gun from his ankle holster when confronted by officers. Scott then exited the vehicle with the gun in his hand,” Murray said. The officers commanded Scott to drop the gun at least 10 times, as verified on video, and Scott failed to comply, Murray continued.
— Litsa Pappas (@LitsaPappas) November 30, 2016
The DA also sought to debunk some social media rumors/statements that were widely circulated in the aftermath of the shooting, like the one about Keith Lamont Scott allegedly having a book in his possession and not a gun when officers confronted him:
Murray: ammunition was found in Scott's vehicle with a pack of cigarettes. A reading book was not found in the SUV #keithlamontscott
— Katie Peralta (@katieperalta) November 30, 2016
For the first time since the shooting, the attorneys for Scott’s family acknowledged in a separate presser after the DA had concluded his presentation that “there was a firearm on the scene” at the time of the shooting:
#KeithScott family attorney now says "think it's safe to say there was a firearm on the scene" but no proof Scott was holding gun.
— Rob Boisvert (@BoisvertRob) November 30, 2016
The attorneys later stated they would still seek justice for Keith Lamont Scott.
The Black Lives Matter-affiliated group Charlotte Uprising tweeted their response to Murray’s announcement by calling officers “pigs” and issuing threats:
— Sister Toldjah ツ (@sistertoldjah) November 30, 2016
Fortunately, local law enforcement were preparing for the possibility:
— Michael Gordon (@MikeGordonOBS) November 30, 2016
Four people, including a 16 year-old, were arrested during Wednesday night’s mostly peaceful, smaller scale protest in uptown Charlotte.
All four were charged with impeding traffic and James Marsicano was also charged with resisting an officer.
The district attorney’s detailed findings regarding the Keith Lamont Scott case can be reviewed at this link.