Citizens Review Board To Hear Evidence In Keith Scott Fatal Police Shooting

Aug 7, 2017

The fatal police shooting last year of Keith Lamont Scott will get another hearing Tuesday before Charlotte’s Citizens Review Board. At a hearing in June the board determined that substantial evidence existed that police officials were mistaken in calling the shooting justified. 

The hearing could take two days or more. Legal representatives of the Charlotte Police Department and Scott’s family will present their cases. Opening statements will be made; video from the crime scene taken by police and Scott’s widow will most likely be shown. Witnesses will testify under oath and can be cross examined, just like in a trial. But all of this will take place behind closed doors. State law requires this because in addition to deciding if the fatal shooting was justified, the hearing involves a personnel issue—whether Officer Brentley Vinson, who shot Scott, should have been exonerated by CMPD.

The shooting occurred last September outside a University City apartment complex. Police said they saw Scott sitting in his vehicle in the parking lot with marijuana and a gun. Police said Scott had the gun in his hand when he emerged from his vehicle. Vinson said he feared for his life and fatally shot Scott as his wife watched and recorded the incident. The city was engulfed in protests for days.

If the board determines that the shooting was not justified, CMPD Chief Kerr Putney can reverse his decision and take disciplinary action against Vinson. If Putney were to do nothing, the city manager can decide discipline, if any