Police radio conversations in the moments before the shooting of Keith Lamont Scott show officers telling their dispatcher that they were going after a man they had observed with marijuana and a gun.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police released limited radio traffic Thursday after a public records request made the day after the shooting by The Charlotte Observer. On Saturday, Police Chief Kerr Putney released parts of videos taken during the shooting from a dashboard camera and a body cam worn by a uniformed officer at the scene outside Scott’s apartment at The Village at College Downs complex on Old Concord Road.
Synching the radio traffic with video of the shooting shows that the first officer notified his dispatcher 37 seconds after four shots were fired at Scott.
“We got shots fired,” he radioed. “One suspect down. Lexington Court.”
An acknowledgment came from the dispatcher, who then asked whether any officers were injured.
“All officers are 10-4,” came the reply. “We got one suspect down. We need Medic.”
Scott, 43, was shot by officer Brentley Vinson on Sept. 20 after police said he ignored commands to drop a gun, sparking days of protests. Both Scott and Vinson are African-American.
How it unfolded
According to the tapes, exchanges began with officers on the scene five minutes before the shooting.
An officer is heard communicating with another in the vicinity.
“Roll back to this apartment behind you. There was a guy parked next to us rolling a joint and had a gun.”
Moments later, he gave a more precise location.
“We’re back here at the other visitor parking,” he said.
That transmission confirms the timeline given by police earlier, that officers had seen Scott with a gun and marijuana when they were in the complex trying to serve a warrant on another man.
Police said the officers pulled away, then stopped nearby to put on vests identifying them as police officers and returned to confront Scott, who was sitting in his SUV.
Tapes released Thursday included a call from a man on the scene advising police that Medic would be needed. A second tape shows the report of the marijuana and the gun and a third tape was from the scene in the minute after the shooting.
Police said the State Bureau of Investigation, which is conducting the primary inquiry into the case, was consulted before the tapes were released.
Police also said certain parts of the calls were redacted and voices altered in accordance with state law.
Police did not immediately release any other radio traffic from the incident.