Charlotte Police Announce Plans To Release Footage Of Shooting
MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:
The Charlotte Police Department has now released video footage from the body cameras worn by police officers involved in the Tuesday shooting death of Keith Scott, an African-American man. Here's Police Chief Kerr Putney from a press conference earlier today.
(SOUNDBITE OF PRESS CONFERENCE)
KERR PUTNEY: Listen, we all know there's a lot of stuff floating out there about what has happened, what was not on scene. Was it a book? Is there a gun? We're releasing evidence that we believe based on our fact-finding mission that it will give you indisputable evidence that the facts we started with are the facts that remain today based on two independent investigations up until this point.
MARTIN: Protests in Charlotte continue there today for a fourth day in a row. Reporter Nick de la Canal from member station WFAE is with us now from Charlotte, where he's been covering the protests. Nick, thanks so much for joining us once again.
NICK DE LA CANAL, BYLINE: Glad to be with you.
MARTIN: So Nick, what does the video show us?
DE LA CANAL: Well, there are two videos that were released. The first is the body-cam footage, and you can't really see much in that video. It's just kind of the body being handcuffed after the shooting has already taken place. You see the body on the ground. It's being handcuffed. There's a little bit of blood, and there's an officer calling for backup and saying that they need to hold the wound. That video doesn't tell us much.
The second one is the dashboard camera. And this actually does show the shooting. You can see Scott exiting his vehicle. He's - takes a couple steps backwards, and he's facing two officers who are behind another pickup truck that are - that's in this parking lot. And his - you can see that Scott is holding something. It's a little unclear. The video's a little fuzzy. You can't really tell. His hands do remain by his side the whole time. And then after a couple of seconds after he exited the vehicle - it happens very fast - you hear, bang, bang, bang.
MARTIN: What else do you hear?
DE LA CANAL: Yeah.
MARTIN: What else do you hear, Nick?
DE LA CANAL: In the video, you mean?
MARTIN: Do you hear a narration of the interaction? Do you hear what's going on in either of the videos, or what - from the officers' perspective, what they think is happening?
DE LA CANAL: The audio isn't the best for these videos. And actually in the first video with the body-cam footage the audio in the first half is missing, actually. So you can't hear anything. You can't hear the shots being fired or anything that the officers are saying beforehand. It's a little unclear why that audio's missing. I think it's been redacted. We're not sure why. But you can hear after the shooting has taken place - on that first video you can hear officers, again, calling for backup, saying that they need to administer aid and that's about it.
MARTIN: Now, at their press conference earlier, Chief Putney said that he would release some of the footage. So is it - is it reasonable to assume that this is not the entirety of the interaction, this is not the entirety of the footage available, that only a portion of it is released? Is that accurate?
DE LA CANAL: Yes. Well, he said he was only going to be releasing portions of the video that are pertinent, quote, unquote, "pertinent." So this is not all of the footage that exists. But he says the rest of the footage is mostly just, you know, officers driving up to the scene. It doesn't actually show the interaction. But he does say that that will be released later.
MARTIN: And also - the department also released a rather lengthy statement along with the footage. Does that statement offer any additional insights into this incident as well, as briefly as you can?
DE LA CANAL: Yeah, it does. Well, it answers another big question, and that was why were police going after Scott in the first place because it's not illegal to just own a gun. And basically, it said that he was observed with some marijuana, rolling up a blunt of marijuana. And officers didn't think that that was a big deal at first. But then they saw him with a gun, and that then was determined to be a threat to public safety.
MARTIN: Before we let you go, Nick, we really don't have time to get into this, but protesters have been calling for the release of this video for some days now. Do you have any sense - and I know this is a developing story - whether this action is satisfactory to them?
MARTIN: (Laughter) I don't think it will be. I think they were hoping that the tapes would be released and it would show without a doubt that this shooting was unjustified or that it was justified. But it's - the tapes are really - it's in a gray area. It's really unclear.
MARTIN: That's Nick de la Canal with member station WFAE in Charlotte. Nick, thank you.
DE LA CANAL: Thank you.
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