Prosecutor: Officer acted lawfully in black man's killing in N.C.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — A Charlotte police officer whose fatal shooting of a black man outside an apartment complex touched off several nights of unrest in the city was justified in opening fire and will not face charges, a prosecutor announced today.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg District Attorney Andrew Murray spent 40 minutes during a news conference meticulously outlining the evidence that led him and a team of 15 other prosecutors to determine Officer Brentley Vinson's actions in killing Keith Lamont Scott were justified. He also released his report online.
Lawyers for Scott's family say they still have questions and haven't decided whether to file a lawsuit.
Scott's family has said he wasn't armed.
Murray, however, displayed a nearby store's surveillance video showing the outline of what appeared to be a holstered gun on Scott's ankle. He said Scott's DNA was found on a Colt .380-caliber semiautomatic handgun recovered at the scene. He shared a Facebook conversation from the man who said he sold the stolen gun to Scott and recognized him from TV coverage after the shooting and police radio traffic where officers talked about the gun before confronting Scott.
The prosecutor asked the public to review his findings before protesting again. Two nights of protests after the September shooting led to looted stores near the scene and in downtown Charlotte, millions of dollars of damage and more than two dozen injuries to police officers and others, including one fatal shooting.
"The community should read the report. Digest the report. Please do not act viscerally on news snippets," Murray said.