In Charlotte, A Tale Of Two Black Lives, I observed:
Keith Scott was not just another average Joe, a citizen going about his business, intending harm to none. He was a convicted felon, a felon convicted of multiple crimes of violence, many involving deadly weapons, including guns. His criminal record—which as reported by The Observer is surely incomplete—stretches over 24 years. His adult record began no later than when he was 19. With this kind of adult record, it is a virtual certainty he had a substantial juvenile record of offenses, which if committed by an adult, would have been felonies.
At that point, still very early in the case of Charlotte Police Officer Brently Vinson’s shooting of Keith Scott, almost everything was unknown, or unconfirmed, not that the “protestors” that engaged in arson, destruction of property, looting and murder cared about that. My point was that Scott’s available record clearly indicated that he was anything but an innocent that suffered an unprovoked attack by rogue police.
Much more is known now, courtesy of WCCB in Charlotte:
New details show Keith Lamont Scott had a violent past.
A domestic violence protective order was filed against Scott by his wife, Rakeyia Scott, in 2004 in Mecklenburg County. Rakeyia claims Scott stabbed her in the back, almost puncturing her lungs. She also claims he “sliced me [sic] ear and bruised my body.”
Officials in Texas tell WCCB that Scott spent seven years in prison for shooting a man in San Antonio.
Officials say he shot and injured a known acquaintance in 2005. Court records show Scott was convicted of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. Scott fired more than 10 rounds from a 9mm pistol, according to court records. He was released from prison in 2011.
In 2015, Scott’s wife filed another domestic violence protective order against him in Gaston County. She claims he hit their 8-year-old child three times with his fists and kicked her, according to court records. She also says he threatened to kill them with a gun, claiming he said he is a ‘killer’ and that they should know that.
Remember, gentle readers, this is the woman who painted Scott as a loving and loveable family man, a dedicated father of seven children. Media accounts also suggest Rakeyia Scott also told police Keith Scott the gun with which he threatened his loving family was stolen. WCOCTV in Charlotte added:
Police said that Keith Scott did have a loaded gun when Charlotte-Mecklenburg police Officer Brentley Vinson shot and killed him last week, and on Monday, sources told Channel 9 that that gun was stolen.
Police sources said someone else stole the gun during a home break-in and later sold it to Scott.
But even if Scott had a loaded, stolen gun, that doesn’t give the police the power to kill him for no reason. In a very narrow sense, that’s correct. I addressed the issues and misconceptions around police use of deadly force in Charlotte: Video And The Reality Of Gunfights.
Fortunately, now we have a definitive statement from the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department on the death of Keith Scott. I have no reason to disbelieve any portion of it, and the known evidence solidly supports it. The fact the media have generally avoided it like the plague is also compelling evidence of its accuracy. From the CMPD Facebook Page:
There have been numerous unconfirmed reports published in the media concerning this case. The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department has prepared the following case update to provide factual information about the officer-involved shooting.
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 of them.
The officers observed the driver, later identified as Mr. Keith Lamont Scott, rolling what they believed to be a marijuana “blunt.” Officers did not consider Mr. Scott’s drug activity to be a priority at the time and they resumed the warrant operation. A short time later, Officer Vinson observed Mr. Scott hold a gun up.
Because of that, the officers had probable cause to arrest him for the drug violation and to further investigate Mr. Scott being in possession of the gun.
Note that the officers did not seek out Scott. He was unlucky enough to park next to two plainclothes officers and fire up a blunt. This sort of thing happens more often that many might think possible, and it’s generally hilarious for the police, but that hilarity soon ended. The presence of the gun made the situation very serious and demanded the officers intervene. Had he not displayed the gun, it’s likely Scott would have gone on his way never knowing about his close call with the police. Remember, as you continue, gentle readers: the officers knew Scott–they didn’t know his name or background then–was armed with a handgun, and was using drugs.
Due to the combination of illegal drugs and the gun Mr. Scott had in his possession, officers decided to take enforcement action for public safety concerns. Officers departed the immediate area to outfit themselves with marked duty vests and equipment that would clearly identify them as police officers.
Upon returning, the officers again witnessed Mr. Scott in possession of a gun. The officers immediately identified themselves as police officers and gave clear, loud and repeated verbal commands to drop the gun. Mr. Scott refused to follow the officers repeated verbal commands.
A uniformed officer in a marked patrol vehicle arrived to assist the officers. The uniformed officer utilized his baton to attempt to breach the front passenger window in an effort to arrest Mr. Scott.
By this time, the officers demonstrated considerable restraint. They did not simply shoot him as he sat in his vehicle, ignoring their commands. Even though he was holding the gun, they did not believe they had to shoot–then.
Mr. Scott then exited the vehicle with the gun and backed away from the vehicle while continuing to ignore officers’ repeated loud verbal commands to drop the gun. Officer Vinson perceived Mr. Scott’s actions and movements as an imminent physical threat to himself and the other officers. Officer Vinson fired his issued service weapon, striking Mr. Scott. Officers immediately rendered first aid and requested Medic to respond to the scene.
Some have suggested that because Scott was moving slowly backwards, Officer Vinson was unjustified in shooting. This is nonsense, and demonstrates ignorance of the guidelines for the use of deadly force. If the elements allowing the use of deadly force are present, it doesn’t matter if Scott was standing still, moving sideways, or jumping up and down on one foot.
Homicide Unit Detectives interviewed multiple independent civilian witnesses at the scene and at police headquarters. Those witnesses confirmed that officers gave numerous loud verbal commands for Mr. Scott to drop the weapon and also confirmed that at no time did Mr. Scott comply with their commands.
A lab analysis conducted of the gun crime scene investigators recovered at the scene revealed the presence of Mr. Scott’s DNA and his fingerprints on the gun. It was also determined that the gun Mr. Scott possessed was loaded at the time of the encounter with the officers. The investigation also revealed that Mr. Scott was wearing an ankle holster at the time of the event.
In the previous post are photos of the gun, ankle holster and marijuana “blunt” in Mr. Scott’s possession at the time of the incident. Links to the portion of the digital mobile video recorder (dash-cam) and body worn camera footage that capture the time of the shooting are below.
The body worn camera illustrates the footage from the moment it was turned on until officers began rendering first aid to Mr. Scott
The dash-cam footage is from the time in which the officer operating the car with the dash-cam video arrives on the scene until officers began rendering first aid to Mr. Scott.
Keith Scott gave the officers not reasonable suspicion, but probable cause to arrest him when he parked beside them and started smoking pot. Holding a handgun and refusing to disarm himself, as the officers lawfully and entirely reasonably and repeatedly demanded, fulfilled every element for the use of deadly force. Take the link to Charlotte: Video And The Reality Of Gunfights, for that specific information. When Officer Vinson fired, he was entirely within the law and within the boundaries of the reasonable exercise of professional discretion.
But Vinson shot Scott four times!
Irrelevant. Vinson was lawfully justified in shooting. At that point, his reason for shooting was to stop Scott. To that end, the law allowed Vinson to shoot as many rounds as necessary from as big a gun as necessary to stop Scott, to stop him from doing what caused Vinson to have to shoot him.
But Scott had Traumatic Brain Injury!
Irrelevant. Police officers–actually everyone–must act based on what they observed and knew at the moment they were forced to fire. There was no way they could have known that, and they were forced to respond to Scott’s actions, not to what they might have been able to imagine as his motivations.
This is just another police attempt to discredit and smear the victim!
No. Explaining and publicizing Scott’s past history of felony crimes, particularly his violent crimes and his most recent violent attacks on his wife and children, are important for the public to understand Scott’s motivation. They are equally important that the public understand Scott was not the relative saint of the social justice narrative. They are not insinuating anything. They are not lying about his past. They are not misleading the public. On the contrary, they are responding to the public’s demands for information, though it is likely not the information some elements of the public want to hear.
Note in this photograph the black ankle holster around Scott’s right ankle. The strap is undone, which indicates Scott removed the stolen Colt Mustang .380 from the holster, and was holding it in his right hand, just as the police account explained.
All of the known evidence indicates the officers were entirely innocent and professional in their actions, and entirely justified by law and common sense.
Keith Scott was not a peaceful, non-violent citizen set upon by evil rogue cops. If he had not had the bad luck to park beside two police officers, fire up a blunt and, for no apparent reason, display a handgun that turned out to be stolen, he would likely be alive today. If he had simply followed the officer’s orders, he would likely be alive today. At the very least, the police would not have shot him.
It appears, at this point, the only remaining questions are whether Brently Vinson’s life is ruined, how much more in cash, tax revenue and the rule of law the lies about this case will cost Charlotte, and how quickly the Obama/Lynch Department of Justice will take to hold Charlotte and its police department and citizenry hostage.