How often does this happen? Johnny Cochran had a similar case in California when the police busted into an apartment, shot and killed a black college student who was mistaken for a suspect on the run. This student was sleep in his bed when officers busted in on him. It ended up in court with a settlement for the family.
Perhaps there needs to be a thorough look into the numbers that cases like this, not just alleged ones, but actual cases where innocent citizens are shot and killed because they were mistaken for suspects.
Next there needs to be a breakdown on how many of those mistakenly killed are black.
Protesters have taken to the streets in Charlotte, North Carolina, clashing with police after the fatal police shooting of a black man earlier in the day.
Keith Scott, 43, was shot and killed by Charlotte-Mecklenburg officer Brentley Vinson, who is also black, after being mistaken for a wanted man.
Police said officers went to a Charlotte apartment complex around 4pm looking for a suspect with an outstanding warrant when they encountered Scott, who was not the suspect they were looking for, inside a car.
According to department spokesman Keith Trietley, officers saw the man get out the car with a gun and then get back in. When officers approached the car, the man got out of the car with the gun again. At that point, officers deemed the man a threat and at least one fired a weapon, he said. A weapon was recovered by detectives at the scene.
According to police, officers immediately began rendering aid after the shots were fired. Scott, a father of seven, was pronounced dead at Carolinas Medical Center.
The police version is at odds with that of Scott’s family who have insisted that he was disabled, sitting in his car reading a book, and had no gun. “He sits in the shade, reads his book and waits on his kid to get off the bus,” Scott’s sister told reporters. “He didn’t have no gun, he wasn’t messing with nobody.”
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Protestors demonstrate in front of police officers wearing riot gear after police fatally shot Keith Lamont Scott in the parking lot of an apartment complex in Charlotte, North Carolina. Photograph: STRINGER/Reuters
In a video posted to Facebook Live from the scene, Scott’s daughter Lyric repeatedly can be heard yelling at investigators on the scene not to plant a weapon in Scott’s vehicle. “Because that’s what the fuck y’all do,” she said in the emotional video.
As protests swelled on Tuesdy night, police used tear gas to attempt to disperse crowds heard yelling “Black lives matter,” and “Hands up, don’t shoot!” One person held up a sign saying “Stop Killing Us”, and another sign was seen reading “It was a book”.
In statements the Charlotte-Mecklenburg police department distinguished between “agitators” and “demonstrators”, blaming the former for damaging police vehicles and causing injuries to at least a dozen officers. One officer was reportedly struck in the face with a rock.
Charlotte mayor Jennifer Roberts tweeted on Tuesday night: “I will continue to work with our manager & Chief on officer involved shooting. We are reaching out to community to ask for calm.”
Police blocked access to the area, which is about a mile from the campus of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, as protesters gathered after the shooting. Video from WCCB-TV in Charlotte showed police in riot gear stretched across a two-lane road confronting protesters at the apartment complex later in the night. Some of the officers flanked the main line on one side of the road.
The shooting comes quickly on the heels of the death of Terence Crutcher, an unarmed black man shot by police in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Both incidents are just the latest in a summer that has been fraught with tensions between law enforcement and black and activist communities outraged by police killings of black people.
Officer Vinson, who has been with the department for two years, has been placed on paid administrative leave, which is standard procedure in such cases.