NC Protesters Challenge Decision Not to Charge Officer

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Dozens of protesters marched in Charlotte last night after a prosecutor’s announcement that Officer Brentley Vinson would not be charged in in Keith Lamont Scott’s death. Speakers at the protest, organized by the coalition Charlotte Uprising, said they want to see more police transparency in investigations, reports the Charlotte Observer. Despite a State Bureau of Investigation report into Scott’s death, some protesters insisted that a white police officer – not Vinson, who is black – shot Scott. The protesters also demanded answers in the death of Justin Carr, 26, who was shot in the head during the uptown protests after Scott’s shooting in September. Police charged a fellow protester with the shooting, but critics contend that police killed Carr.

Scott, 43, a black man, was shot on Sept. 20 when he stepped from an SUV parked outside his apartment holding a gun and ignored police commands to drop it. The confrontation sparked two nights of riots. Yesterday, Mecklenburg District Attorney Andrew Murray laid out in extensive detail the evidence gathered in the case. “I’m extremely convinced that Mr. Vinson’s use of deadly force was lawful,” Murray said. Evidence shows that Scott stepped out of his SUV with a gun in his hand, Murray said, and ignored at least 10 commands from the five officers on the scene to drop it. Murray ran the evidence in the case past 15 veteran prosecutors in his office and they were unanimous that there was insufficient evidence to charge Vinson. Two of those prosecutors were African-American and one was Latino, Murray said.

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