Charlotte, NC — “The police just shot my daddy,” lamented Lyric Scott, the victim’s daughter, after a police officer looking to serve a warrant on a different individual fatally shot a disabled man who had nothing to do with the case — whose only crime, according to witnesses, was holding a book.
— Joe Bruno (@JoeBrunoWSOC9) September 21, 2016
“Police just shot my daddy four times for being black,” she said through tears.
Keith Lamont Scott, 43, had been waiting to pick up his son from the school bus, parked in the same spot in front of a Charlotte, North Carolina, apartment building as he always did, when plainclothes cop — since identified as Charlotte-Mecklenburg Officer Brentley Vinson — arrived to serve an arrest warrant on a different man.
Police say they approached and Scott exited his vehicle “armed with a firearm and posed an imminent deadly threat to the officers who subsequently fired their weapon striking the subject” — four times, killing him.
But a number of witnesses vehemently dispute this narrative and say the 43-year-old disabled father clearly only held a book, as he made a practice of reading in his car while waiting for his son to arrive after school each day.
Immediately following the shooting, Lyric took to Facebook Live, vociferously disputing the burgeoning police claim her father held a gun and chastising officers for the “20 minutes” it took to summon emergency services.
“CMC is right down the street,” she yelled, referring to nearby Carolinas Medical Center, the hospital where Scott passed away shortly after transport. Lyric learned her father had died via news reports as she livestreamed the aftermath of the shooting.
Detectives claim to have recovered a firearm from the scene, but in her video footage, Lyric accused officers of plotting to plant a weapon because her father didn’t have a gun.
She also filmed statements from a number of witnesses who said they saw Scott exit his vehicle plainly holding a book, but officers nevertheless shot him four times.
Another man at the scene reportedly used Facebook Live to interview an older gentleman claiming to have witnessed the fatal shooting — and observed Scott holding only a book.
Additionally, whether or not Scott held a weapon when exiting his vehicle, North Carolina is an open carry state — meaning simply having a weapon in the open in public is legally permissible. Even if a weapon was recovered from his car — as police disputedly claim — that, too, is perfectly legal.
In other words, police seem to be grasping at straws to justify an altogether unjustifiable and inexplicable shooting — evidenced even in the laughably flimsy statement CMPD offered in a press conference afterward, cited by local FOX 46:
“He is armed, with a handgun that we found on scene as well … Makes some imminent threat to them and because of that, at least one of our officers fired rounds at the subject.”
According to Scott’s sister, as seen in video footage, undercover detectives jumped out of their vehicle, told him to put his hands up, claimed they saw a gun, and immediately began shooting.
— Sarah-Blake Morgan (@SarahBlakeWBTV) September 20, 2016
Scott’s brother made a similar claim.
— Crystal Johnson (@Crystal1Johnson) September 21, 2016
To reiterate, possession of a gun in public is not a crime in North Carolina.
Protests erupted immediately following the shooting, as people tellingly chanted:
“STOP KILLING US!”
Eventually, protests turned violent as outraged demonstrators clashed with police.
At one point, a number of people took to heavily-trafficked Interstate-85, setting fire to and looting tractor trailers, though police have since cleared them out using flash grenades and allowed travel to continue.
Police assembled SWAT teams and deployed tear gas against demonstrators who reportedly launched bottles and projectiles at officers and media on scene. An untold number of people have been arrested, according to multiple reports.
Protests are ongoing and police in riot gear have been deployed to contain further rioting.
— Andrew (@ajpWSOC9) September 21, 2016
Lyric Scott’s Facebook page has since been disabled, though it’s unclear whether the social media giant did so at the behest of CMPD. Previously and controversially, Facebook cooperated with police to disable police shooting victim Korryn Gaines’ page as she livestreamed during a standoff with officers.
Keith Lamont Scott is the sixth person to be killed by Charlotte-Mecklenburg police this year.
Officer Vinson, on the CMPD force since 2014, has been rewarded with the paid vacation known as administrative leave for fatally shooting the disabled man for the non-crime of reading.