Officer involved shooting prompts protest in Charlotte; several injured
Posted September 20, 2016
Updated September 22, 2016
Charlotte, N.C. — Charlotte police are defending the actions of their officers after at least one shot and killed a man armed with a gun Tuesday afternoon.
Police serving warrants at the Village at College Downs apartment complex near UNC-Charlotte on Tuesday encountered a man, identified as Keith Lamont Scott, with a gun. They felt threatened, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Chief Kerr Putney told local reporters, and one officer shot and killed Scott.
"They encountered a gentleman who had a gun; obviously he had a gun. They called in for more officers. They responded and confronted the subject,” Putney said. “As they engage him, he is armed with a handgun that we found on the scene as well, made some imminent threat to them. And because of that, at least one of our officers fired.”
One officer sustained non-life threatening injuries.
Putney said Scott was not the person whom police were seeking with the warrants.
Scott's family members did not want to be identified but called the shooting unjustified.
“He had no gun. When does a book equal a gun? He was reading a book,” one woman said.
Another family member told Charlotte news outlets that the officers were not in uniform when they approached.
The officer, identified as Brentley Vinson, has been placed on administrative duty, pending a criminal investigation and an internal affairs investigation, as is standard procedure.
Vinson has been employed with the CMPD since July 21, 2014 and is currently assigned to the Metro Division.
As night fell, tensions rose in the community as protests began. Police cars lines the streets and officers were seen in riot gear as groups blocked Old Concord Road for several hours.
Protesters were seen throwing water bottles and, at one point, surrounded a police car on the scene. Video showed that the vehicle's windows and windshield had been broken.
Earlier, a tow truck was brought in to take another police cruiser away. Local media outlets reported that car suffered damage to its rear end, according to the Associated Press.
Several officers were injured during the protest, according to Charlotte-Mecklenburg police.