A black man shot dead by police in Charlotte, North Carolina last month sustained four wounds, two of which killed him immediately, a private autopsy reportedly shows. Police have neither released their own autopsy, nor charged the white officer involved.
“The cause of death is two, penetrating, indeterminate range gunshot wounds to the back and abdomen,” Keith Lamont Scott’s family’s autopsy report read, according to the Washington Post.
The forensic pathologist, Kim Collins, who conducted the autopsy ruled that the manner of Scott’s death was “homicide.”
Scott’s family had to resort to private forensics examination after the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department (CMPD) refused to provide their autopsy and toxicology analysis to either the family or the press.
“It’s a little frustrating, in this age when we keep talking about transparency,” Charles Monnett, one of the attorneys representing the Scott family, said, as cited by the Post.
The police have so far released a statement as well as bodycam and dashcam footage from the September 22 fatal shooting of Scott, following protests and riots in Charlotte.
According to the police account, two plainclothes officers were taking part in an unrelated operation when they saw Scott pull up next to them. The two said they saw him rolling a marijuana joint. Then, one of the officers noticed that Scott held “a gun up.”
This prompted the officers to leave the area, change into police uniform, and then “take enforcement action for public safety concerns.”
At the same time, Scott’s family insists he had not been armed at the time that he was confronted by the two officers.
Dashcam footage showed Scott, a father of seven, coming out of his car and walking backwards away from it until he is shot, but it was unclear from the footage whether Scott was holding a gun in his hand.
“Was there a gun in his ankle holster? Was there a gun in his hand?” Monnett said, according to the Post. “It’s pretty clear that Keith never discharged a firearm and I think it’s pretty clear from the video that he never pointed any firearm at an officer.”
Yet, the police said a gun was found at the scene, and they shared an image, saying it was the weapon Scott was holding.
The bodycam video filmed by a uniformed officer offers no answers either. It was muted for about 25 seconds, and no altercations or shots can be heard. Scott is only visible in several fuzzy frames, with the head of an officer covering most of the view. Afterwards, he is already lying on the ground, bleeding.
The officer whose bullets killed Scott has been identified as Brentley Vinson. Days after the shooting, the Charlotte police chief, Kerr Putney, said that Officer Vinson was “absolutely not being charged by me at this point.”[Source: RT]