Our Reporter on the Ground in the North Carolina Hot Spot
The job of our police departments is to prevent and mitigate crisis situations. Yet here, we have another example of police creating a crisis situation where none existed or was going to exist.
Keith Scott was sitting in a vehicle he owned, parked at the apartment complex where he lived. With him were a handgun the police department refuses to characterize as illegally owned (*see update) and a small amount of marijuana.
Also in the area were under-cover police officers on a stakeout waiting to execute a warrant on a person unrelated to Keith Scott. It is a fact that stakeouts can be exceedingly boring. So seeing Scott in his vehicle smoking marijuana could have presented an opportunity to break the monotony. In this day and age, smoking a joint is akin to jaywalking or making a turn without a signal—the kind of thing you don’t get stopped for unless the police have something else in mind, in this case perhaps as a salve for boredom.
So officers approach a peaceful Scott minding his own business. They spot his handgun in the vehicle, and immediately initiate a quick escalation to crisis. At no time did Scott threaten officers with the gun. As they bash at his car windows trying to break in, Scott exits his vehicle, and, with no gun in either hand and his hands at his sides, begins walking slowly backwards. Six seconds after his feet touch the pavement, he’s shot dead.
If there had been no police there that day, Scott’s children would have come home from school, they would have gone home, and the day in that neighborhood would have ended peacefully.
We at the Police Gazette have zero tolerance for violent criminals. If Keith Scott had threatened to shoot police officers—or anyone else who didn’t deserve it—we would have supported his shooting with gusto and said give him one for us! So when the violent criminals are the police themselves, our tolerance is equally at zero and support the convictions for murder and assault they obviously deserve. Hypocrisy is too widespread in society. The Police Gazette is one place where it will not be practiced.
9/27/16: Six days after the incident, police sources finally divulged the gun in Scott’s possession had been stolen by another person and illegally sold to him. But since Charlotte police thoroughly botched Scott’s detention, investigation, and arrest by assaulting and murdering him, the normal process of justice could not take place. Judge Lynch handled the case instead.