As officials in Charlotte, N.C., consider when, if, and how to release video of the police shooting of Keith Lamont Scott earlier this week, lawyers for the family have released what they say is eyewitness video taken by Scott's wife.
On the cellphone footage that was first published by NBC, The New York Times, and other news outlets, Rakeyia Scott is heard pleading with her husband to be safe — and for the police not to shoot him. The video doesn't give a complete version of the encounter on Tuesday, which is already under way when the roughly two minutes of footage begins.
We're embedding NBC's version of the video here, with the warning that it includes profanity and violence.
The video is sure to stoke further speculation over what transpired in the parking lot at an apartment complex — particularly because as Rakeyia Scott and her cellphone camera get closer to the scene immediately after the shooting, she captures footage of the ground around her husband. That area has already been scrutinized in some photos, particularly one image that "shows what appears to be a handgun on the pavement at Scott's feet," as The Charlotte Observer reported Thursday.
As depicted in the eyewitness video, the scene plays out under bright sunlight, from a vantage point that's a short distance from the confrontation between Keith Lamont Scott and Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officers that began in the tree-lined parking lot where Scott reportedly had a habit of sitting in a car to wait for his son to get off the bus from school. In a key dispute over the circumstances of his death, Scott's family says he had a book with him when he was shot, and police say he had a gun.
The footage appears to corroborate an image that police released Thursday — in both, Scott is seen lying face-down on the asphalt, wearing bright blue pants and white-soled sneakers.
Here's a brief summary of the video, focusing on what Rakeyia Scott said during the deadly encounter:
OFFICER: "Hands up!"
SCOTT: "Don't shoot him! Don't shoot him! He has no weapon. He has no weapon. Don't shoot him!"
OFFICER: "Drop the gun! Drop the f****** gun!"
SCOTT: "Don't shoot him! Don't shoot him!
OFFICER: "Drop the gun!"
SCOTT: "He didn't do anything!"
OFFICER: "Drop the gun! Drop the gun!"
SCOTT: "He doesn't have a gun. He has a TBI [a traumatic brain injury]. He's not going to do anything to you guys. He just took his medicine."
OFFICER: "Drop the gun! Let me get a f****** baton over here!"
SCOTT: "Keith, don't let them break the windows — come on out the car.
OFFICER: "Drop the gun!"
SCOTT: "Keith! Don't do it!"
OFFICER: "Drop the gun."
SCOTT: "Keith, get out the car."
SCOTT: "Keith, Keith! Don't you do it! Don't you do it! Keith, Keith, Keith! Don't you do it!
A burst of gunfire is then heard, with at least three shots fired.
SCOTT: "F***. Did you shoot him? Did you shoot him? Did you shoot him? He better not be f****** dead! He better not be f****** dead! I know that f****** much. I know that much. He better not be dead."
OFFICER: "Back up!"
SCOTT: "I'm not going to come near you. I'm going to record, though."
OFFICER: "Back up!"
SCOTT: "I'm not coming near you. I'm going to record, though. He better be alive because — you better be alive. How about that? Yes, we over here at 50, at 50, 9453 Lexington Court. These are the police officers that shot my husband and he better live. He better live. Because he didn't do nothing to them."
OFFICER: "Is everybody good? Are you good?"
SCOTT: "He ain't done ... ain't nobody touch nobody, so they all good."
OFFICER: "You good?"
SCOTT: "I know he better live. I know he better live. How about that? I ain't coming to you guys, but he better live. He better live. Y'all hear this? You see this, right? He better live. He better live. I swear he better live. Yep, he better live. He better f****** live. He better live. Where is — . He better f****** live. And I can't even leave the damn — ."
OFFICER: "Back up."
SCOTT: "I ain't going nowhere. I'm in the same damn spot. What the f***. That's OK, did y'all call the police? I mean did y'all call an ambulance?"
At one point after the gunfire is heard, the video shows three police officers around Keith Scott — two standing near him and another kneeling over him — in an open area close to the front of a police SUV. Another officer then moves in, and the officers seem to be rendering care.
Regarding Rekeiyah Scott's mention of a TBI, member station WFAE's Gwendolyn Glenn says that Keith Scott sustained "very severe injuries" from a car accident about a year ago.
Scott's death set off protests and riots in Charlotte. It also prompted heated debate over how the police and city leadership should handle releasing any police dashcam or body cam video of the incident.