Family of Keith Scott calls for full release of Citizens Review Board recommendations

Keith Lamont Scott
Keith Lamont Scott

Days after the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department released excerpts of recommendations from a citizens’ board calling for CMPD to reexamine certain policies, the family of the man whose death sparked those recommendations is calling for their release in full.

The family of Keith Lamont Scott requested the full release of the recommendations in a statement from their lawyers Monday. Chief Kerr Putney has said the Scott family read the full recommendations before CMPD released the excerpts to the public on Friday.

“The city of Charlotte and CMPD have repeatedly stated they are committed to being transparent with regard to use of force decisions,” the statement said. “The family believes that a real commitment to transparency requires the release of the Citizens Review Board's recommendations in full as a matter of public interest.”

Scott was killed by police at a University City apartment complex on Sept. 20, 2016. His death was followed by days of protests and dozens of arrests in Charlotte and led city leaders to discuss reform to policing and other issues. In August 2017, the Citizens’ Review Board held a three-day, closed-door hearing to consider whether Putney erred in determining that Officer Brentley Vinson followed all department policies and procedures when he shot Scott.

The board tied, 4-4, in the vote about Putney’s decision, but in a separate vote, members unanimously decided to make policy recommendations to CMPD.

The board made four recommendations in its report, CMPD spokesman Rob Tufano said Monday. One of those simply encouraged CMPD to release the recommendations, he said, and CMPD released excerpts of the other three recommendations Friday, along with the department’s responses.

CMPD generally agreed to consider the three recommendations, which dealt with de-escalation, “vehicle takedown” practices and research on reaction time during armed standoffs. Parts of the board’s report could not be released because sharing information about specific CMPD employees would not be legal, Tufano said.

Jane Wester: 704-358-5128, @janewester