Show shots tape, protesters urge US police

  • 24/09/2016
Protesters march during another night of protests over the police shooting of Keith Scott in Charlotte, North Carolina (Reuters)
Protesters march during another night of protests over the police shooting of Keith Scott in Charlotte, North Carolina (Reuters)

Protesters have taken to the streets of Charlotte, North Carolina, for a fourth night, calling on US law enforcement to "release the tapes" of the fatal police shooting of a black man, hours after the victim's family released its own video.

Dozens of protesters gathered after nightfall in a small park before setting off on a march through city streets, chanting "Resist the police" and calling for the video to be made public.

Several people wrote the names of victims of police shootings across the country in chalk on a Charlotte street, as armed National Guard troops stood by.

The family of shooting victim Keith Scott released its own video of the slaying earlier on Friday.

The moment on Tuesday when a black police officer shoots Scott, a 43-year-old father of seven, cannot be seen in the two-minute video recorded by his wife, Rakeyia, who can be heard urging officers not to fire.

"Don't shoot him! He has no weapon," she can be heard telling officers as they yell at Scott, "Drop the gun!"

Scott's wife shouts, "Keith, Keith, don't do it," before the shots ring out. She also can be heard telling police that her husband had a TBI [traumatic brain injury] and had just taken "his medicine". It was not clear from the video whether police heard Mrs Scott.

Several gunshots can be heard in the video, which was released to US media, followed by Mrs Scott screaming, "Did you shoot him? He better not be dead."

The video was filmed from a nearby curb as the drama in the parking lot unfolded in front of Mrs Scott.

Scott's death was the latest in a string of of police killings of black men in the United States that have unleashed protests and riots across the country.

CNN quoted a source close to the Charlotte investigation as saying a loaded gun had been recovered at the scene and fingerprints, DNA and blood on it matched Scott's.

Protesters have dismissed police officers' claims that Scott had a gun.

Charlotte Mayor Jennifer Roberts on Friday also called for release of the police videos, in an interview with CNN. "I do think it would help in terms of transparency to release that footage," she said.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Chief Kerr Putney has said that video taken by police body cameras supported the police version of events, but he has refused to release the video publicly. He told reporters on Friday that releasing it now could harm the investigation into the shooting, being led by the state.

"I know the expectation is that video footage can be the panacea and I can tell you that is not the case," Putney said, adding that he would eventually agree with the release of the video. "It's a matter of when and a matter of sequence."

Scott's family initially contended he was carrying a book, but after viewing the police video on Thursday the family said it was "impossible to discern" what, if anything, Scott was carrying.

"There's nothing in that video that shows him acting aggressively, threatening or maybe dangerous," Justin Bamberg, one of the lawyers representing the family, said in an interview early on Friday.

No gun can be seen in Mrs Scott's video.