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Officer Brentley Vinson

I began a series of articles on the Charlotte Police shooting of Keith Lamont Scott in September of 2016 with an article explaining the realities of gunfights. They’re virtually nothing like the movies. I ended with this:

If the facts and evidence of the case continue to follow the general outline currently available in the media, there seems little doubt the officers not only acted lawfully, but with tactical soundness. Gunfights aren’t games with sets of refereed rules. They are blindingly fast, ugly, bloody and deadly. No one, including the police, is required to wait until they’ve been shot to prevent being shot, though there are professional racial hustlers and politicians that want essentially that.

Keith Scott
credit: bet.com

The next article—Charlotte: Inconvenient Facts—explained that Scott was not an innocent, unarmed black man going about his lawful business. At that admittedly early point in the investigation of the shooting, the evidence that the officers involved acted properly was even stronger:

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.

In Charlotte: Media Makes A Social Justice Omelet, I wrote about CNN’s attempt to deceive the public and establish a false social justice narrative with edited video of the shooting. I exposed CNN’s unethical attempt to inflame racial tensions, adding:

Never mind; my bad! What’s that you say? Our lies caused people to die and cities to burn? Hey, freedom of the press! You have to break a few blue eggs to make the social justice narrative omelet.

In Charlotte: The Rule Of Law Wins One, I reported that the local prosecutor announced that Officer Brentley Vinson would not be prosecuted in the shooting of Scott:

That it took more than two months for the police and DA to reach a decision, which is obviously based on all of the evidence, should be reassuring to everyone. There was no rush to judgment based on political concerns, and all evidence was gathered, analyzed, and available before a charging decision was made. This is as it should–it must–be.

Now, the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department has announced that it will not discipline Vinson, as The Charlotte Observer reports:

Officer Brentley Vinson was justified in killing Scott during a confrontation outside a University City apartment complex Sept. 20, says a letter the department sent to Scott’s widow. [skip]
Following Scott’s death, riots and street demonstrations roiled Charlotte, prompted dozens of arrests and pushed Gov. Pat McCrory to declare a state of emergency. Mecklenburg County District Attorney Andrew Murray previously ruled that the shooting was legally justified and that Vinson would not face criminal charges.

Of course, this does not, for a moment, end this story:

But protesters and some law enforcement experts question whether CMPD unnecessarily resorted to deadly force against a person with a traumatic brain injury that made it difficult for him to follow directions. They also argue that Scott was sitting alone in the SUV and did not appear to pose a threat to anyone before police approached him.

Those that have read my earlier articles will note that The Charlotte Observer’s account omits the most pertinent, and social justice narrative destroying facts. Scott parked beside plainclothes detectives working on a warrant service and was seen preparing a blunt. They initially ignored him, but when he flashed his gun–not knowing the officers were right next to him, they had no choice but to deal with Scott. When challenged, he got out of his vehicle, his ankle holster visible and empty, and holding a handgun, and refused the officer’s many commands to drop the gun, the officers had no choice. They had no way to know Scott had a brain injury, and had to act, as any reasonable officer would, on what they knew at the time. Not only did the officers have every lawful reason to confront Scott, everything he did–and refused to do–forced them to shoot him.

As a result of CMPD’s internal findings, Vinson won’t face termination, suspension or other severe discipline stemming from the shooting.

Vinson and the police department will almost certainly face civil proceedings, and as I’ve previously noted, it’s difficult to imagine Vinson being able to return to duty, at least not in Charlotte.

But attorney Charles Monnett, who represents Scott’s family, harshly criticized the findings, saying that it shows ‘it’s darn near impossible to objectively investigate yourself.’ [skip]

Monnett said Scott’s family plans to file a complaint with the Citizens Review Board, a civilian oversight panel that looks into allegations of misconduct against CMPD officers.

This would be a logical first step toward an eventual lawsuit.

The system apparently worked as it should. Considering the known evidence, any investigatory panel not determined to render a social justice finding regardless of the facts would have come to the same conclusion. As with all such cases, I do not have access to all of the related documentation, so I’m drawing conclusion based on media accounts only. However, it still appears the shooting of Keith Lamont Scott was a textbook case of a lawful and reasonable police shooting. The officers did their jobs, acted within the law, and within the reasonable exercise of professional practice and discretion. Fortunately the police department supported Officer Vinson, as it should have. These days, that is no longer to be taken for granted.

However, this does not mean there will be a happy ending for anyone. Our nation is still caught up in the throes of anti-police hysteria fostered and maintained by the Obama Administration, hysteria which will take many years, if ever, to repair. For doing his job precisely as he should have done it, Brentley Vinson’s life will never be the same.

As always, I’ll continue to report as developments warrant.

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