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City of Charlotte will not reach settlement with Keith Scott’s family, lawyer says

Protesters march along Caldwell Street in uptown Charlotte on Nov. 30, 2016, in the aftermath of no indictment being given in the death of Keith Lamont Scott.
Protesters march along Caldwell Street in uptown Charlotte on Nov. 30, 2016, in the aftermath of no indictment being given in the death of Keith Lamont Scott. dtfoster@charlotteobserver.com

The city of Charlotte will not settle with the family of Keith Lamont Scott, who was fatally shot by a Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police officer in 2016, according to the family’s lawyer.

“The city has refused to make any settlement offer whatsoever and has rejected all efforts to amicably settle the matter out of court,” said Justin Bamberg, who represents the Scott family.

Bamberg said the family will file a lawsuit in response.

“We made what we believed to be a very reasonable offer based on the facts and circumstances,” he told WBTV.

Scott, 43, was killed on Sept. 20, 2016, when officers were serving a warrant at The Village at College Downs apartment complex on Old Concord Road in northeast Charlotte.

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Keith Lamont Scott Charlotte Observer file photo

According to CMPD, plain-clothes officers were at the apartment complex to serve a warrant unrelated to Scott. They said Scott pulled into the parking lot and parked beside the unmarked police vehicle officers were in, then began rolling what they believed to be a marijuana “blunt.”

A short time later, police said they saw Scott hold a gun up.

According to Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Chief Kerr Putney, the officers identified themselves as police officers and “gave clear, loud and repeated verbal commands to drop the gun.” Scott refused to follow those commands.

That’s when an officer in uniform and in a marked vehicle arrived to assist, and “utilized his baton to attempt to breach the front passenger window in an effort to arrest” Scott.

CMPD said Scott then left the vehicle with the gun and “backed away from the vehicle while continuing to ignore officers’ repeated loud verbal commands to drop the gun.”

“Officer (Brentley) Vinson perceived Mr. Scott’s actions and movements as an imminent physical threat to himself and the other officers. Officer Vinson fired his issued service weapon, striking Mr. Scott,” police officials said. “Officers immediately rendered first aid and requested Medic to respond to the scene.”

In April 2017, CMPD announced that Vinson “acted lawfully and in accordance with department policy,” and would not face internal discipline related to the shooting.

The shooting led to violent protests across the Queen City for about four consecutive nights.

As of Tuesday evening, the city of Charlotte had not released a statement about the settlement refusal.

WBTV is a news partner of The Charlotte Observer.

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