The response of Charlotte’s public officials in the wake of the shooting death of Keith Lamont Scott continue to fuel outrage and daily protests in Charlotte.
On Saturday, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Chief Kerr Putney held another press conference at which time he disclosed more ‘facts’ about the incident and informed the public that he will be releasing some, but not all of the videos in the possession of police.
Simply put, the police continue to withhold footage that they have of the incident. They claim that the reason for not releasing the footage and other evidence is that they are concerned that such evidence, being not the entirety of the evidence, would present an incomplete picture of the incident. They also claim that there is concern that the video would taint witnesses’ memories and testimony.
Simply put, their reasoning is absurd. To begin with, there is plenty of information that has already been released either by citizens or by news media, not the least of which is the tape that was released by the victim’s wife, who recorded the confrontation — that recording does not show footage of the actual shooting, though the shooting can be heard.
Therefore, to the extent that there is concern with incomplete information or things being released in a vacuum, that is already happening. The evidence and footage that the police have can only be a positive in clarifying and in the community at least believing that the government is being transparent and straight-forward with citizens.
What makes the reasoning of police and government officials even more absurd is that they, themselves, have been releasing information — incomplete information. Chief Putney, personally, has held news conferences where he has described what the police videos depict. Even during his latest news conference, Putney continued to dribble information — this time claiming that the victim was in possession of marijuana, and apparently, that was the reason that he was approached. He also stated that the Mr. Scott’s alleged possession of a gun was illegal.
For Chief Putney to then claim that he is not releasing the tapes because he is concerned that they would cause confusion because they are incomplete in and of themselves, is the height of hypocricy.
Clearly, Chief Putney and the North Carolina government are solely interested in restricting access because they believe that the tapes that they have in their possession are damning. Regardless, their excuse does not pass the laugh test — it is simply absurd.
At this point, they must release the tapes in their possession.
The thoughts and opinions expressed here are solely those of the contributor and do not necessarily reflect the views of Citizen Slant.