Charlotte police released body camera and dashboard videos on Saturday showing the fatal shooting of a black man that triggered protests in the North Carolina city, but the footage did not show whether the victim was holding a gun.
A dashboard camera from a police car showed Keith Scott, killed on Tuesday, exiting his car and backing away from it. Police shout to him to drop the gun, but it is not clear that he has anything in his hand. Then shots break out and Scott drops to the ground.
A second body camera video from an officer does not show the moment of shooting. It shows Scott outside his vehicle before he is shot, but it is not clear whether he has something in his hand. Then the officer moves and Scott is out of view until he is seen on the ground.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Chief Kerr Putney announced the release of the video at an earlier briefing, following days of demonstrations at which protesters demanded that authorities allow the public to see clips of the Tuesday shooting.
Putney said before releasing the footage that the videos themselves were “insufficient” to prove that Scott held a gun. But the totality of evidence did, he said.
“There is no definitive visual evidence that he had a gun in his hand, you can see something in the hand, and that he pointed it at an officer. That I did not visually see in the video,” Putney said. “But what we do see is compelling evidence that, when you put all the pieces together, supports that.”
Police also released pictures including one of a handgun it says was recovered at the scene and an ankle holster police say Scott was wearing.
The news conference came as demonstrators on Saturday mounted a fifth day of protests in Charlotte. They called for the end of emergency measures imposed on the city this week, the removal of National Guard troops and for officers involved in the incident to be prosecuted.
The shooting of Scott, a 43-year-old father of seven, was the latest in a series of deadly police encounters across the country in recent years that has raised questions about the use of force by U.S. law enforcement against African-Americans and other minorities.