On Saturday, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department Chief Kerr Putney released a body camera video from one of the officers who attempted to arrest Keith Lamont Scott, a man that a warrant team witnessed brandishing a weapon while smoking a marijuana cigarette (a “blunt”) inside his SUV. Officers told Scott to put down his gun and leave his vehicle 11 times over the next 45 seconds.
Scott left his vehicle, but officers said that he still had his gun in his hands. Moments after backing out of his vehicle, Scott was shot at four times by CMPD officer Brentley Vinson. Scott died soon afterward.
Despite a long criminal history of using weapons that has seen Scott spend years of of his life prison, Scott’s family insists that he did not have a gun
We proved conclusively on Saturday that Scott’s ankle holster was clearly visible in a screen capture from the released body camera footage.
What we didn’t realize at the time is that the same screen capture appears to confirm that Keith Lamont Scott did in fact have the Colt Mustang Plus II in his hand before he was shot.
First, we need to understand that the crime scene photos will not tell you about the rare Colt Mustang Plus II recovered from Keith Lamont Scott. It is a very small gun, and falls into a class of handguns called “pocket pistols” because of their diminutive size.
Here’s what a Colt Mustang Plus II looks like in the hands of several different pictures culled at random from the Internet to give you an idea of how small of a gun it is.
Here’s a Colt Mustang Plus II in someone’s palm.
Here’s a more common Colt Mustang, which has the same barrel and slide length, but a shorter grip and contains two less rounds.
The Colt Mustangs and similar pocket pistols are much more easily hidden in the hand than larger compact and service-sized handguns.
Here’s the body camera screen capture that shows Keith Lamont Scott’s ankle holster.
Below is a the close-up of the holster recovered at the scene that Scott is wearing in the photo above. DNA and fingerprints were recovered from the Colt Mustang Plus II that matched Mr. Scott. We do not know if the holster was similarly tested for DNA, but we can surmise that was likely done as well.
Conspiracy theorists can’t seem to quite explain how CMPD officers “planted” the holster on Scott’s ankle before he was shot, but I’m sure they’ll eventually concoct a theory, probably involving chemtrails.
I confess that I was so focused on the discovery of a screen capture that confirmed Scott was indeed wearing the ankle holster that I didn’t look at the rest of the photo in detail.
I should have.
That same photo shows that Keith Lamont Scott was wearing an ankle holster also shows that there is something dark in his right hand, much darker than his skin color, poking out just in front of his bright blue pants leg.
What is this mysterious object in Keith Lamont Scott’s hand? What is the dark spot in the middle of his grip? What is the rectangular shape pointing down at the ground?
His family would have you believe that it was a book that no witness saw, that was not part of the crime scene in the vehicle or in the parking lot.
I posit that what you’re looking at is a viewpoint from the officer’s body camera that I roughly recreated below
I’m holding a .380 pocket pistol, at roughly the same arm and hand angle as suggested in the screen capture. It seems indisputable (at least among rational people) that Scott was indeed holding the Colt Mustang Plus II handgun that he had withdrawn from his ankle holster when shot.
That’s not the grip you would have holding a book.
Keith Lamont Scott was brandishing a weapon. Brandishing a handgun is not “open carry.” Brandishing a handgun is a crime. By refusing to drop the weapon in the presence of officers after repeated warnings, Scott became a deadly force threat (he was already a felon in possession of a weapon, a felony, which he knew at the time, even if the officer’s didn’t).
It takes less than 1/2 second for a gun held in this position to be raised and fired, faster than an officer can respond. This combined with the fact that Scott was warned 11 times over 45 seconds to drop the gun, warrants the use of deadly force if the officer perceives so much as flinch or a regripping of the gun.
Along with the physical evidence, the video evidence, the eyewitness testimony (always suspect unless supported by data), DNA recovered from gun, and fingerprint evidence is as conclusive as any case is ever likely to be.
It’s time to give up the conspiracy theories that a black Charlotte police officer shot an unarmed black man and then planted the gun in a conspiracy supported by a black police chief, because of the crackpot Black Lives Matter theory that the law enforcement system is racist against them.
The science is, as they say, settled.