As Charlotte’s leaders consider when, if, and how to release video of a police shooting of Keith Scott earlier this week, an eyewitness video that was apparently taken by Scott’s wife has surfaced.
Published by NBC, The New York Times, and other news outlets, the footage filmed by Rakeyia Scott includes her pleas with her husband to be safe — and for the police not to shoot him. The video doesn’t give a complete version of the encounter, which is already under way when the roughly two minutes of footage begins.
We’re embedding NBC’s version of the video here, with the warning that it includes profanity and violence.
The video is sure to stoke further speculation over what transpired at the scene — particularly because as Rakeyia Scott approaches the scene, her camera captures footage of the ground around her husband. That area has already been scrutinized in some photos, particularly one that “shows what appears to be a handgun on the pavement at Scott’s feet,” as The Charlotte Observer reported Thursday.
As depicted in the eyewitness video, the scene plays out under bright sunlight, from a vantage point that’s a short distance away from the confrontation between Keith Lamont Scott and Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officers.
The footage corroborates an image that police released Thursday; in both, Scott is seen lying face-down on the asphalt, wearing bright blue pants and white-bottomed sneakers.
Here’s a brief summary of the video, focusing on what Rakeyia said during the deadly encounter:
“Don’t shoot him. Don’t shoot him. He didn’t do anything.”
In the background, officers can be heard yelling, “Drop the gun.”
“He doesn’t have a gun. He has a TBI [a Traumatic Brain Injury]. He’s not going to do anything to you guys. He just took his medicine.
“Keith, don’t let them break the windows — come on out the car.
“Keith, don’t do it.”
“Keith, get out the car!”
“Keith, Keith, don’t you do it. Keith! Keith! Don’t you do it!
A burst of gunfire is then heard, with at least three shots fired.
“Did you shoot him?!” the woman yells. “Did you shoot him??”
Repeating her question, she says, “He better not be f****** dead!”
As she approaches the area, an officer apparently tells the woman to keep her distance; in response, she yells, “I’m not coming near you — I’m going to record, though. “
She then repeats herself, adding, “He better not be dead.”
The video shows three officers around Scott — two standing near him and another kneeling over him — in an open area close to the front of a police SUV. Another officer then moves in, and the officers seem to be rendering care.
“He better live,” Rakeyia Scott then says, repeatedly.
Explaining the mention of a TBI, member station WFAE’s Gwendolyn Glenn says that Keith Scott had sustained “very severe injuries” from a car accident around one year ago.
Scott’s death Tuesday set off protests and riots in Charlotte; it also prompted a heated debate over how the police and city leadership should handle the situation, particularly the police video of the incident that was captured by body-cams. And a key dispute has emerged, in which Scott’s family say he had a book with him when he was shot, and police say he had a gun.Share