In from Color of Change
BREAKING: Charlotte Police Chief, Kerr Putney, just made a partial release of dash cam and body cam footage of Keith Lamont Scott’s murder. And it’s devastating to watch.
None of the video shows definitive evidence of Keith Scott holding a gun as police have claimed–and after police shot and killed Keith Scott, they handcuffed his lifeless body. To make matters worse, Putney has still refused to release the full video, claiming it is not relevant to the shooting. A partial video release is not enough, but if this killing happened a week from today, even this would be impossible.
A new North Carolina law goes into effect on October 1st, and will prohibit any body-cam or dash-cam footage from being released to the public. It’s infuriating and a slap in the face to Black people who’ve been in the streets demanding transparency and reform.
We have to make sure North Carolina police can’t hide behind a blue wall of silence any longer.
Then we have this: HB972 Prohibits body and dash cam footage from being released to the public.
Charlotte is on fire. And Black people are in pain yet again as the news of Keith Lamont Scott’s killing hit less than 24 hours after news outlets plastered the video of Terence Crutcher’s murder on tv screens across the country.1
According to his family, Keith Lamont Scott, a 43-year-old disabled man, was sitting in his car reading a book and waiting to pick his son up from school when he was shot and killed by Charlotte police. Yes, a book. They say he didn’t have a gun. And in a live video immediately after the incident, Keith’s daughter yelled at investigators not to plant a gun in his car. “Because that’s what the f**k y’all do,” she said.2
Charlotte police had no regard for Keith’s life and are telling a completely different tale of events leading to Keith’s killing. But a new North Carolina law could mean the public will never see the body cam footage.
North Carolina just passed a law, HB 972, that prohibits body and dash cam footage from being released to the public.3 And while the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Chief, Kerr Putney, has the authority to release the footage of Keith Lamont Scott’s death before the law goes into effect in October–he won’t. But the good news is that the Department of Justice has the authority to push them to do the right thing, and hit Charlotte police where it hurts–their pockets. Soon, the Justice Department will be announcing winners of their federal grant programs. If the DOJ refuses to award any new grants to North Carolina while this law is in place, they could force the state to reverse it. Will you sign the petition?