Sen. Tim Scott: Release the video of Keith Lamont Scott shooting

Senator Tim Scott, the only black Republican in the Senate, says he believes it would be helpful if Charlotte, North Carolina authorities would publicly release video of the shooting of Keith Lamont Scott.

Sen. Scott appeared on CNN Thursday and was asked about the situation in Charlotte by host Jake Tapper. Scott was careful not to second guess the decisions of law enforcement saying, “I’m not a law enforcement officer, so I’m not going to pretend to understand and appreciate their concept and their approach to releasing the video.” But Sen. Scott added, “I will say however that the releasing of the video can defuse some of the tension if what we’ll see on the video is helpful.” (Full video of the interview is below.)

Earlier today, Charlotte Police Chief Kerr Putney said the video clearly shows Keith Lamont Scott was holding a gun, not a book, in his hand when he was shot. From ABC News:

Police in Charlotte have now confirmed to ABC News that they have video that shows Keith Lamont Scott had a gun in his hand during his interaction with police officers before he was fatally shot.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Chief Kerr Putney said earlier today that the footage he reviewed does not provide “definitive visual evidence that would confirm that a person is pointing a gun.”

“I did not see that in the videos that I reviewed,” Putney said at a news conference. “So what I can tell you, though, is when taken in the totality of all the other evidence, it supports what we’ve heard and the version of the truth that we gave about the circumstances that happened that led to the death of Mr. Scott.”

So while the video does not appear to show Keith Lamont Scott pointing the gun at anyone it does show him holding it. He also refused to drop it when ordered to by police. Chief Putney said yesterday, “The officers gave loud, clear, verbal commands which were also heard by many of the witnesses.”

Scott’s family has claimed, since shortly after the shooting, that Keith Lamont Scott was merely reading a book and never had a gun. Today, Chief Putney arranged for the family to view the police video. The family was photographed after viewing the video but neither they nor their attorney would comment on what they saw in the video:

Though the video has not been made public yet, a still photograph taken by a bystander immediately after the shooting shows a gun on the ground next to Keith Lamont Scott:

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The photo by itself may not be convincing to everyone since it’s not clear where it came from, but if the video does show the gun in Scott’s hand that would remove any doubt. Police have said they did not find a book in the car or at the scene. Here’s the full interview with Sen. Tim Scott.