Crime & Courts

Attorney says Keith Lamont Scott’s family wants public to see shooting videos immediately

Attorney Justin Bamberg, who is representing the family of Keith Lamont Scott, speaks to the media Thursday afternoon. To Bamberg’s right is attorney Eduardo Curry, who is also representing the family.
Attorney Justin Bamberg, who is representing the family of Keith Lamont Scott, speaks to the media Thursday afternoon. To Bamberg’s right is attorney Eduardo Curry, who is also representing the family. sharrison@charlotteobserver.com

An attorney for the family of Keith Lamont Scott said Thursday night that, after viewing videos taken by police dashboard and body cameras, Scott’s wife and other family members want those videos released to the public immediately.

Justin Bamberg, in an e-mailed statement, said: “After watching the videos, the family again has more questions than answers.” He described the videos as showing that Scott got out of his car when asked to by police, calmly; that it was impossible to see what, “if anything,” was in Scott’s hands; and that his hands were by his side and “he was slowly walking backwards” when shot.

Bamberg added that the family asks “those who wish to protest” to “do so peacefully.”

The Scott family was scheduled to be at a news conference held outside the Mecklenburg County Courthouse earlier Thursday, but did not appear. Bamberg said then that the family was too upset over the shooting death of Scott.

CMPD has said that Scott had a gun and that police ordered him to drop it. The police said Scott refused and was shot and killed by a police officer.

Police Chief Kerr Putney said video from the scene showed that Scott had a gun, though he said it wasn’t clear if Scott was pointing the gun at officers.

Scott’s family has said he was holding a book – not a gun.

“In talking to his family, my understanding is that he didn’t own a gun, that he didn’t carry a gun,” Bamberg said. “As far as we know, he did not own a gun.”

Bamberg also said Scott had a disability. He said he had an accident that left him with head trauma and bodily injuries.

“At the end of the day he was disabled,” he said.

Bamberg represented the family of Walter Scott, the South Carolina man who was shot and killed last year by a North Charleston police officer. He also is representing the family of Alton Sterling, a black man who was shot and killed by Baton Rouge police this summer.

The Scott family is also being represented by Charles Monnett, who represented the family of Jonathan Ferrell, who was shot and killed by a Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officer in 2013.

Steve Harrison: 704-358-5160, @Sharrison_Obs

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