The police narrative surrounding the shooting death of Keith Lamont Scott contradicts the story his family has told the media, and it remains unclear whether he was holding a gun or a book at the time he was shot.
Police killed Scott, an African-American father of seven, on Tuesday in Charlotte, North Carolina, apartment complex parking lot as officers looked for another man named in a warrant they were trying to serve.
Scott’s family said he was sitting in his car reading a book, waiting for his son to come home from school, but Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Chief Kerr Putney, who is also African-American, sees it differently.
Putney said that Scott, 43, exited his car with a gun, not a book, and officers couldn’t find a book at the scene. Putney said evidence and witnesses both support the officers’ claim that Scott was armed.
“It’s time for the voiceless majority to stand up and be heard,” Putney said. “It’s time to change the narrative because I can tell you from the facts that the story’s a little bit different as to how it’s been portrayed so far, especially through social media.”
According to CNN, Putney said that the officer opened fire when Scott refused to put down his gun. Officer Brentley Vinson, who fired the fatal shot, is also African-American and was not wearing a body camera.
The shooting resulted in a night of violent demonstrations in Charlotte on Tuesday. Putney said 16 officers were injured in the protests.