The Washington Post reported on December 1, 2016 that District Attorney R. Andrew Murray of Charlotte, North Carolina, will not be bringing criminal charges against the police officer who fatally shot Keith Lamont Scott on September 20, 2016. The Post report once again details little more than excuses for non-performance on the part of the police, and the Office of the District Attorney. And the excuses are once again poor, ill advised, and based not on the most credible evidence, the disinterested view of the video camera which recorded the event.
Although the four officers’ presently claim they saw a gun raised by Scott the instant he was shot by one of the officers; the video shows no such thing. That is the critical moment at which the legitimacy of a shooting in self-defense claim by the police, or anyone, is measured. The after-the-fact rationalizations of the police/prosecutor that Scott had a gun, it was loaded, and had his DNA on it mean nothing, and add nothing to the discussion. The only thing that matters is what he was doing with the gun the instant before being shot. According to the only disinterested witness, and therefore the only credible witness — the video camera recording — NOTHING.
The statement of the officer firing the fatal shots is absurd on its face; he fired his weapon at Scott because Scott was looking at the officers as if he was “trying to decide who he wanted to shoot first”. Significant by its absence from the officers’ reason is that the gun was raised and pointed at the officers. If I was on the trial jury and heard the officer say such nonsense, I would find him guilty of whatever he was charged with on that incredible statement together with the video.
Much of prosecutor Murray’s defense of his decision to deny the public its right to due process is devoted, the Post reports, to Scott having a loaded gun with his DNA on it. I’m sure my DNA is on the guns I own. So what? He had a Second Amendment right to have a gun. What matters is what he was doing with it. The cameras say nothing. The cops say otherwise after having ample time to compose their “unanimous” version. If they resent the accusation of making up their story, and feel wounded, it’s a self inflicted wound brought on by how they do their investigations and handle these cases — in secret with their “take care of their own” attitude. When they get their story straight, then they go public; not before, trying their case in the press. If the cops’ version is correct, it is for a jury to decide; in a public trial. They are the deciders of the facts in our constitutional system; not the cops, not the prosecutor, not internal (police code for secret) investigations, nor in the press where there is no filter of the rules of evidence to insure it is accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
Spokespersons for the City of Charlotte said of the decision not to prosecute, “no matter where you stand on the issue, the events surrounding the Scott shooting have forever changed our community, and we intend to learn from and build a stronger Charlotte because of it.”
Really?! You’ve learned from it? What have you learned about the Constitution and due process? Not a damn thing! This case was tried everywhere except where the Fifth and Sixth Amendments say to try it; in a public courtroom with a neutral judge and jury. Better luck (and judgment) next time. Every community across the country where arguably criminal acts by cops have not been prosecuted — Cleveland, Staten Island, Fergusion — has learned nothing about accountability, transparency, or due process. PERFECT!