Charlotte Shootings: The “Justifications” of a Black Man’s Death

Sachi Bhati

By Anushka Nair ’20, Contributor

On Tuesday September 20th, Keith Lamont Scott, a father of seven from Charlotte, North Carolina was fatally shot and killed as a result of what seems to be yet another case of police brutality. Scott was exiting his car when he encountered police, who were trying to serve a warrant to a man in The Village of College Downs. Since the date of the shooting, multiple videos from dashboard cameras of the police cars have been released. There has been debate over whether Scott had done anything to threaten the police shown in the video. The Charlotte Police Department has informed the public that Scott was carrying a gun, but the object seen in the video cannot be identified.  The family of the victim has publicly stated that Scott was actually reading a book, and was under the influence of prescription drugs that could have made him lose his sense of perception for a few minutes. However, the drugs that were affecting Scott had been prescribed to him because he had previously been in a severe motorcycle accident. In the dashboard videos, Scott’s wife can be heard trying to reason with the police officers, “He doesn’t have a gun. He has a [traumatic brain injury]… He is not going to do anything to you guys. He just took his medicine”.

For weeks after the shooting, the city of Charlotte has been erupting in protests for the Black Lives Matter movement. Dozens of officers and protesters have received injuries – one protester was even shot and killed. Hundreds of other protesters were arrested as well. City officials placed a curfew on Charlotte residents, and Governor Pat McCrory declared the city in a state of emergency. Although the protests continue, the real reason of Scott’s death is still undetermined, and it is safe to say that for the people of Charlotte, Keith Lamont Scott’s death was not justified.