Keith Lamont Scott: Once Again, the System “Justifies” Murder by Police
November 30, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us
On Tuesday, September 20, Keith Lamont Scott—a Black man—sat in his parked truck in a small parking lot, waiting to pick up his son as he got off the school bus. Keith Lamont Scott was known to neighbors in the mostly white neighborhood as the man who read while he waited for his son every day.
But on this day, police rolled up on the scene. Video taken by Keith Lamont Scott's wife, Rakeyia Scott, shows police banging on the windows of Keith's pick-up truck, screaming “drop the gun.” It shows her screaming: “He doesn't have a gun! Don't shoot him... He has a TBI [traumatic brain injury]. He's not going to do anything to you guys. He just took his medicine.” Shots rang out – bam! Bam! Bam! Bam...
Rakeyia Scott shouts at the police:
Did you shoot him!?
Did you shoot him!?
He better not be fucking dead!
But the police did shoot Keith Lamont Scott. And then left him to die on the ground. Police dashboard camera video shows pigs handcuffing a helpless Keith Lamont Scott, and chatting with each other without any regard for his life, while he bleeds to death on the ground.
Protests, including defiant blockades of downtown streets and freeways, broke out in Charlotte, demanding justice. Only after days of protest did police release their dashcam video showing their utter disdain for the life of Keith Lamont Scott after they shot him.
Today, the North Carolina State District Attorney declared that no charges of any kind would be brought against any of the murderers. The District Attorney released a “report” that purported to be an objective investigation. It is a bald cover up.
The prosecutor's report ignores the reality revealed by the video courageously taken by Keith Lamont Scott's wife, Rakeyia Scott. Police have no interest in Rakeyia's attempts to intervene, to defuse the situation, to explain her husband's serious medical condition that impairs his ability to react to the kind of terror the police are instigating. Rakeyia Scott's video and the pigs’ own dash-cam show trigger-happy police, itching to shoot a Black man, coming up on Scott's truck and blasting away.
The fact that police shouted “drop the gun”—with their dashboard camera recording that—doesn't in any way prove Keith Lamont Scott had a gun, was pointing a gun at them, or posed a threat to anyone. It does prove police were invoking standard police procedure of yelling “stop resisting,” as they beat on someone. Or “put your hands where we can see them,” when they shoot someone. Or, “drop the gun....” to justify murdering people of color.
And the pigs utter disdain for the life of Keith Lamont Scott is further documented in their own video which shows them kneeling on him, chatting about what they're going to do next, while he lies dying. Without doing anything to make a pretense of trying to save his life.
The prosecutor's report dismisses substantial evidence from non-police witnesses. For example, statements by at least two witnesses—damning indictments of the police—are dismissed in part because these witnesses say Keith Lamont Scott was reading a book when the pigs started banging on his window. The prosecutor's report claims their statements are “inconsistent with the believable evidence” because a book “was never recovered.” But the prosecutor's own report says: “a purple composition notebook” was found on the front seat of the car, next to where Keith Lamont Scott was sitting, “wedged between the center console and the front passenger seat.” This kind of contempt and ridicule of credible statements by courageous witnesses runs through the prosecutor's report.
And the report justifies the police killing of Keith Lamont Scott because police claim he was smoking marijuana, had an unconcealed weapon in a state where that is legal, and looked at a pig with a “blank stare.” And that this murder by police was “self-defense.”
The report says Scott was in possession of an unconcealed gun. That is contested by witnesses. But in any event, it is not illegal in North Carolina. It says he was in possession of “a partially smoked blunt” as if that is a justifying factor in police killing someone. And it says a cop feared for his life because Scott looked at him with a “blank stare.”
All to justify the police murder of a Black man who was doing nothing but sitting in his truck, minding his own business, waiting to pick up his son from school.
As we go to press, people are in the streets protesting. There are reports that at least four people have been arrested in protests outside the Charlotte Police Headquarters.
Protesters gather outside Charlotte Police Headquarters on hearing the news that the police who murdered Keith Lamont Scott will not be indicted. Photo: @JustineIMiller/Twitter
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