Police release footage of Keith Scott's shooting in North Carolina

Police dash cam footage of Keith Scott being fatally shot
Police dash cam footage of Keith Scott being fatally shot

Warning: Video contains graphic content that may upset viewers.

Following days of protests and mounting pressure, US police have released dashboard and body camera videos of the fatal shooting of Keith Scott.

The police chief of Charlotte, North Carolina announced on Saturday (local time) that releasing the footage would not "adversely impact" the investigation into the killing, as he had previously argued would have been the case.

"What we are releasing are the objective facts," said Chief Kerr Putney, calling the shooting "a complex case".

Mr Scott, a 43-year-old father of seven, died on Tuesday (local time), the latest in a long line of African-American men killed in controversial police shootings in the US.

Police, while acting on an arrest warrant for someone else, say Mr Scott was observed using marijuana in his vehicle and holding a handgun, which was deemed unsafe.

He was ordered out of the vehicle and initially refused, before police prepared a baton to break into the vehicle, they say.

Mr Scott then allegedly exited the vehicle with the gun, and was slowly backing away but ignoring commands to drop the weapon.

One of the law enforcement agents perceived his movements as an "imminent physical threat" to officers and shot him.

Police say Mr Scott's firearm was loaded at the time.

Demands from protesters and civil rights leaders for the police footage to be made public have gained momentum since Mr Scott's death.

Four nights of protests in Charlotte included violent rioting in which another person was killed.

On Friday (local time), the Scott family released their own footage of the killing, recorded by Mr Scott's wife Rakeyia. In it, she can be heard yelling at the police not to shoot him and to Keith not to "do it".

At a media conference, Chief Putney insisted releasing police footage earlier would have been harmful, saying it didn't prove "all of the complexities" or resolve the details of what happened in the confrontation.

"My priority has been, throughout the whole investigative process, to maintain the integrity of the investigation, because that's essential, that's essential in a fact finding process that leads you to the truth," said Chief Putney.

"We're releasing evidence that we believe that will give you indisputable evidence that the facts we started with are the facts that we're left with today... based on two independent investigations."

Chief Putney said that officers had acted responsibly, but insisted he would not "try the case" in public.

Mr Scott's family at first claimed he was carrying a book, not a gun, when he was shot. After viewing police video, the family concluded it was "impossible to discern" what, if anything, he was carrying, an attorney representing the family said.