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The wife of Keith Lamont Scott released video that captures the moments leading up to the fatal shotting by Charlotte police.

CHARLOTTE — The family of Keith Lamont Scott, the black man shot dead by Charlotte police, released video Friday that his wife recorded on her cell phone at the time of the killing that includes sounds of gunfire and her hysterical pleas for police not to shoot him.

The two-minute and 12-second video, broadcast first by MSNBC, was obtained by NBC reporter Gabe Gutierrez who said the Scott family was planning to distribute it widely.

Scott, 43, was shot Tuesday afternoon by a black plainclothes police officer near an apartment complex. The family decided to release the cell phone video one day after viewing other footage from Charlotte police that officials have not released publicly.

The cell phone video does not show Scott until after he is hit and on the ground. It also does not show whether he was holding a weapon. The footage does include the sound of gunfire and the shouts of police officers for Scott to drop his gun.

In the video, which begins before shots are fired, Rakeyia Scott — who had gone inside to to get a cellphone charger while Keith sat in the car awaiting his son’s school bus — approaches the area where several vehicles, including a police car, are clustered.

“Don’t shoot him, he has no weapons!” she shouts at the officers.

Her pleas alternate with the sound of voices, apparently the officers, repeatedly shouting, “Drop the gun! Drop the gun!”

Rakeyia calls out to them, saying he does not have a gun. “”He doesn’t have a gun, he has TBI (traumatic brain injury). He is not going to do anything to you guys, he just took his medicine.”

She also shouts to Scott, who is blocked in the video by cars, saying, “Come on out of the car, Keith. Don’t do it.”

Within seconds, four shots ring out in quick succession.

“Did you shoot him? Did you shoot him? He better not be (expletive) dead!” she shouts. Rakeyia continues to record, yelling at the officers that she is not going to go near them. “I’m going to record you. He better be alive.” She also asks the officers if they have called for an ambulance.

Eduardo Curry, an attorney representing the Scott family, suggested the video raises questions about the accuracy of a still photo circulated on the day of the shooting that appeared to show a gun on the ground not far from Scott’s feet. There did not appear to be any object in the same spot in the cell phone video taken at the time of the killing.

“There is a still photo showing an object was there,” Curry told CNN. “Ask yourself, when did the object appear? When you look at the (cellphone) tape you might be able to see something that would illuminate the situation.”

Another family lawyer, Justin Bamberg, told MSNBC the video does not answer the question of whether Scott had a gun at the time. “The video does not answer that,” he says. “This video shines some light, fills in some blanks.”

The Scott killing sparked three nights of violence, including violent encounters between protesters and police on Tuesday and Wednesday night.

The State Bureau of Investigation has officially taken over the investigation into the shooting, making it unlikely that police bodycam and dashcam videos of the incident will be released publicly in the near future, city officials said Friday.

Mayor Jennifer Roberts, who has called for the release of the footage, said at a news briefing that she is convinced its early public release could affect the integrity of the investigation of the case.

“When you are still gathering eyewitness accounts, they are still talking to folks. If you have already seen something on the Internet, it can cloud your memory, it can alter what you think you saw. We want eyewitnesses to tell us without being led or having their memory changed by something they heard or saw.”

Charlotte-Mecklenburg police chief Kerr Putney said he supported transparency, but did not want evidence, such as the video, to be released piecemeal.

“The intent is to get it out in a package, so that it can be consumed and fully understood,” he said.

In any case, Putney noted that the issue is no longer in his hands since the case had been officially turned over to the SBI, an independent body.

The police has become a central focus of three nights of protests. Demonstrators chanted “release the tape” and “we want the tape” Thursday night while briefly blocking an intersection near Bank of America headquarters and later marching to the city government center. Later, several dozen demonstrators walked onto an interstate highway through the city, but they were pushed back by police in riot gear.

After two nights of violent protests, Roberts praised demonstrators and law enforcement officers alike for the largely peaceful night Thursday. “Last night was what a lawful demonstration looks like,” she said.

Putney said three police officers and one member of the  National Guard was treated for minor injuries, compared to 44 arrests the previous evening.

He also said police made three arrests, including Rayquan Borum, who is now charged in the shooting death of Justin Carr during Wednesday night’s demonstration.

Roberts credited the largely peaceful evening with a heightened presence of National Guard and state troopers on the streets and the reduction in the deployment of shield-bearing police in riot gear. She noted, however, that despite the easing of tension, the curfew remained in effect for Friday night.

At the heart of the dispute were two versions of what took place outside an apartment complex Tuesday afternoon.

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Protesters took to Charlotte’s streets for a third straight night and defied a midnight curfew in the US city, amid heavy security aimed at preventing more clashes over the fatal police shooting of a black man.
Video provided by AFP
Newslook

Police claimed Scott, who was waiting in his car for his son’s school bus, got out of the vehicle with a handgun and refused to obey orders to drop the weapon. He was shot, police said, after officers determined he posed an imminent, deadly threat.

Several local residents, however, claimed Scott, 43, was carrying a book, not a gun, when he stepped from the car after police approached.

Asked earlier by CNN whether the video shows Scott holding a gun, Roberts replied, “It is not a very clear picture and the gun in question is a small gun. And it was not easy to see … so it is ambiguous.”

She also said that a new state law, which would deny public access to police body cam and dashcam footage without a judge’s orders, would not apply to the Scott case since the shooting occurred before the law goes into effect Oct. 1.

Justin Bamberg, an attorney for Scott’s family, watched the video with the relatives and said it shows Scott getting out of his vehicle calmly.

“While police did give him several commands, he did not aggressively approach them or raise his hands at members of law enforcement at any time. It is impossible to discern from the videos what, if anything, Mr. Scott is holding in his hands,” Bamberg said in a statement.

Scott was shot as he walked slowly backward with his hands by his side, Bamberg said.

The lawyer said at a news conference Thursday that Scott’s wife saw him get shot, “and that’s something she will never, ever forget.”

Charlotte’s handling of the incident is in sharp contrast to the Tulsa police department, which quickly released to the public a video showing an officer fatally shooting an unarmed black man last week. The officer involved was charged Thursday with manslaughter in that case, which did not trigger widespread local demonstrations.

 Maxwell reports for the Asheville Citizen-Times. Stanglin reports for USA TODAY from McLean, Va.

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Protesters took to Charlotte’s streets for a third straight night and defied a midnight curfew in the US city, amid heavy security aimed at preventing more clashes over the fatal police shooting of a black man.
Video provided by AFP
Newslook