Lawyers for the family of Keith Lamont Scott continued to challenge CMPD’s handling of the September fatal shooting Wednesday, just minutes after district attorney Andrew Murray announced that no charges would be brought against officers. .
“We believe this situation....could have ended with everyone alive,” lawyer Charles Monnet said. “We look forward someday to obtaining justice for this family. He also said it still wasn’t clear whether officers had been properly trained or followed departmental policy when they confronted Scott on Sept. 20.
At the same time, he asked for the community to remain calm. “We implore every one to...protest peacefully and be respectful of everyone’s rights.”
Justin Bamberg, also representing the family, continued to question whether Scott had a gun in his hand. “I think it’s safe to say there was a firearm on the scene...... (but) there's no definitive proof Keith had a firearm in his hand.”
Digital Access for only $0.99
For the most comprehensive local coverage, subscribe today.
Earlier in the morning, Murray said that evidence in the case shows that Scott stepped out of his SUV with a gun in his hand and ignored at least 10 commands from the five officers on the scene to drop it.
Murray said that Scott obtained the gun – which had been stolen in Gaston County – 18 days before the confrontation. One bullet was found in the chamber of the gun, the safety was off and Murray said Scott’s DNA was found on the grip and ammunition slide.
Murray said that speculation in the community that Scott was unarmed – initial reports from a family member on Facebook said he was holding a book – were untrue.
“A reading book was not found in the front or back seats of Mr. Scott’s SUV,” Murray said.
Officer Vinson’s gun was examined after the shooting and four bullets were missing, Murray said. Guns taken from the other officers at the scene had not been fired, he said.
People who claimed on social media that they had seen the shooting and ScDott was unarmed were later found to be in error – three people who’d made the claim told State Bureau of Investigation agents in interviews that they hadn’t actually seen the shooting.
Murray said he ran the evidence in the case past 15 veteran prosecutors in his officer and they were unanimous in their recommendation that there was insufficient evidence to charge Vinson in the case.