Police fatally shot a North Carolina man they claim was armed — but a woman who said she was his daughter cried out on Facebook Live that he didn’t have a gun, triggering riotous protests that stretched into the pre-dawn hours.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg police said Keith Lamont Scott, 43, “posed an imminent deadly threat to the officers,” who were trying to serve a warrant on a different man at an apartment complex around 4 p.m. Tuesday.
A Facebook user identifying herself as Lyric Scott, the fallen man’s daughter, streamed an hourlong broadcast that appeared to be coming from the scene in Charlotte.
She rejected the police account that her father had been armed.
“The police just shot my daddy four times for being black,” she said. “They Tased him first and then shot him.”
Investigators, however, said Officer Brentley Vison shot Scott after he emerged with a gun for a second time from a car parked at the complex in the University City area. Police said officers had spotted Scott getting out of the car wielding a firearm before returning to the vehicle.
The cops began walking toward Scott when he suddenly got back out, still carrying the firearm. Several officers then fired at him, police said.
A police source told the Charlotte Observer both Vison and Scott are black.
Scott was pronounced dead at a hospital after an emergency crew brought him there for treatment. Investigators recovered a gun at the scene at The Village at College Downs complex on Old Concord Road, according to police.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Chief Kerr Putney said Vison, a two-year department veteran, has been placed on administrative leave as police investigate the shooting. None of the officers were hurt, Putney noted.
“This is early on in the investigation, so that’s about the extent of what we know right now,” Putney said at a news conference.
Scott’s unidentified sister told WSOC he “wasn’t messing with nobody” when the officers showed up.
“They jumped out their truck. They said, ‘Hands up! He got a gun! He got a gun!’ Pow, pow, pow, pow,” she said. “That’s it. He didn’t have no gun.”
Hundreds of protesters flooded the area as word of the shooting got out. They chanted, “Black lives matter,” and “Hands up, don’t shoot!” while blocking traffic and throwing bottles at officers.
A Facebook user live-streamed what appeared to be dozens of protesters pelting a police vehicle with rocks. The protesters were also seen getting on top of the vehicle and kicking in the front-windshield as police helicopters could be heard hovering above.
“We ain’t chilling no more,” a man shouts at the top of his voice in the video. “You think we’re going to sit down when they killing us?”
Charlotte Mayor Jennifer Roberts pleaded for calm as police in riot gear fired tear gas at the protesters around 11 p.m.
“The community deserves answers and full investigation will ensue,” Roberts said in a tweet.
But Roberts’ plea fell on deaf ears as an offshoot of particularly riotous protestors marched over to a busy highway, where they blocked several lanes, looted trucks and lit a massive fire in the middle of traffic.
An unidentified female driver trapped inside her truck told a WSOC-TV reporter she feared for her life as she heard protesters break into her trailer.
“I understand they want to make a statement but they are hurting innocent people trying to make a living,” the woman said.
The protesters eventually fled from the highway hold-up and tried to break into a nearby Walmart, but ran off once officers and SWAT teams caught up with them.
At least seven civilians were taken to area hospitals with minor injuries and roughly five protesters had been arrested by 4:30 a.m. Wednesday, WSOC reported.
Police said in a tweet that as many as 12 officers sustained non-life threatening injuries during the tumultuous clashes, which were still ongoing around 5 a.m.
With News Wire Services.