CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) – Video of a deadly encounter between Charlotte police and a black man shows his wife repeatedly telling officers he is not armed and pleading with them not to shoot her husband as they shout at him to drop a gun.
The footage, recorded by Keith Lamont Scott’s wife and released Friday by his family, offers a raw look at how the situation unfolded but does not show whether Scott had a gun as police have said. Uncertainty about the case prompted a fourth night of demonstrations through Charlotte’s business district.
After darkness fell, dozens or people carried signs and chanted to urge police to release dashboard and body camera video that could show more clearly what happened. Police have said Scott was armed, but witnesses say he held only a book.
The 2 ½-minute video released by the family does not show the shooting, though gunshots can be heard. In the video Scott’s wife, Rakeyia Scott, tells officers that he has a TBI, or traumatic brain injury. At one point, she tells her husband to get out of the car so police don’t break the windows. She also tells him, “don’t do it,” but it’s not clear exactly what she means.
As the encounter escalates, she repeatedly urges police, “You better not shoot him.”
After the gunshots, Scott can be seen lying face-down on the ground while his wife says “he better live.” She continues recording and asks if an ambulance has been called. The officers stand over Scott. It’s unclear if they are checking him for weapons or attempting to give first aid.
In the footage, Scott’s wife states the address and says, “These are the police officers that shot my husband.”
The video emerged hours before the protesters took to the streets Friday night, monitored by rifle-toting members of the National Guard. The group appeared smaller than previous nights.
Protesters called on police to release video that could resolve wildly different accounts of the shooting earlier this week. Marchers at the front of the group carried a banner that said “Just Release the Tapes.”
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Chief Kerr Putney said Friday that there is footage from at least one police body camera and one dashboard camera.
The family of Scott, 43, was shown the footage Thursday and demanded that police release it to the public. The video recorded by Scott’s wife had not been previously released.
State Attorney General Roy Cooper also called on Charlotte officials to release the video, saying doing so would help bring the community and law enforcement together. Cooper, a Democrat, is running for governor in November.