Footage of moment Keith Scott was killed by police
THE widow of the man murdered by police in North Carolina has released dramatic footage she filmed of the moment he was fatally injured.
In the footage, she can he heard screaming in anguish: "Don't shoot him, don't shoot him."
In the latest twist to what has been a battle to establish the precise circumstances that led to the shooting of Keith Lamont Scott - an incident that has led to days of successive protests in Charlotte - the man's widow made public the video she recorded at the scene.
The video, which was released to NBC and the New York Times through the family's lawyer, does not show the moment of the shooting itself, and does prove whether the 43-year-old was carrying a gun, as police have claimed he was.
But it does provide an insight into the chaotic, confused moments before her husband was killed, as he sat in his car waiting for his daughter to get off a school bus close to their home, ten miles east of Charlotte.
"Don't shoot him. Don't shoot him. He has no weapon. He has no weapon. Don't shoot him," Mr Scott wife, Rakeyia, can be heard shouting.
A police officer than yells: "Don't shoot. Drop the gun. Drop the f***ing gun."
Mr Scott's wife continues: "Don't shoot him. Don't shoot him."
She tells the officers that her husband was suffering from a traumatic brain injury, which he received in a motorbike accident, and that he had just taken medicine. "He is not going to do anything to you guys," she says.
The audio recording then continues with officers shouting at Mr Scott to "drop the gun".
Ms Scott can he heard shouting at her husband: "Keith, get out the car. Keith. Keith! Don't you do it! Don't you do it! Keith!"
At that point, a series of shots follow in quick succession. Mr Scott's wife sounds increasingly horrified.
"F***. Did you shoot him? Did you shoot him? Did you shoot him? He better not be f***ing dead. He better not be f***ing dead. I know that f***ing much. I know that much. He better not be dead."
The release of the video footage comes as the authorities in Charlotte refuse to make public footage from two police cameras - one attached to a police vehicle dash cam and the other on one of the uniformed officers at the scene.
Charlotte should release police video of the Keith Lamont Scott shooting without delay. We must ensure justice & work to bridge divides. -H— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) September 23, 2016
In a move that has been widely condemned, Police Chief Kerr Putney said he believed the time was not yet right to make the video public as its release could inflame passions rather than defuse them. "My job is to make sure I do not damage the trust we are trying to build here," said Mr Putney.
Mayor Jennifer Roberts said: "I do think the video should be released. The only question is timing."
On Friday afternoon, Hillary Clinton joined those demanding that the video be released.
"Charlotte should release police video of the Keith Lamont Scott shooting without delay. We must ensure justice & work to bridge divides," she said on Twitter.
Members of Keith Lamont Scott's family gather outside the Mecklenburg County Courthouse (EPA)
Mr Scott was actually shot by plain clothes officer, who is also black, and who as not wearing a body camera. He and the other officers were looking to arrest someone else who lived near Mr Scott and claimed they saw him get out of his car with a gun. They insist that he refused to drop his weapon.
Mr Scott's family said that he did not possess a weapon and that he was reading a book as he waited for his daughter.
Mr Scott's family has seen the police video that the city is refusing to make public. It has said it does not support the police's assertion that he was a threat to officers.
"It is impossible to discern from the videos what, if anything, Mr Scott is holding in his hands," the statement said.
"When he was shot and killed, Mr Scott's hands were by his side and he was slowly walking backwards."
On Friday, Ms Roberts, the city's mayor and Mr Putney, the police chief, admitted that the police's own footage did not offer proof of a "probable cause" that would allow an officer to shoot. The mayor said the video's clarity also did not prove whether Mr Scott had a gun in his hand.
She said: "There was something."