Citizens Review Board split 4-4 on Keith Scott shooting

- The Citizens Review Board is evenly split on whether the September 2016 shooting of Keith Scott by a Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police officer was justified.

The board voted 4-4 Thursday morning on whether or not Officer Brentley Vinson was justified in the fatal shooting. As a result, the board will not be making recommendations to Charlotte-Mecklenburg on the ruling. They voted 8-0 for policy changes.

The Scott family attorney tells FOX 46 Charlotte, despite the split decision, it is still a win for the Scott Family.

"The City of Charlotte in the past has listened to the citizens review board. If you look at the fact officers in the department wear body cameras that is something that came out of this process," said Attorney Justin Bamberg

Normally eleven members sit on the board. One position is currently vacant and two members could not attend the meeting.

The Charlotte NAACP says they hope to work to improve the citizens review board so a split decision will not happen again.

"Based on what happened today. If you knowingly go into a hearing with an even number, there is a likelihood you will have a split decision," said Corine Mack.

Scott, 43, was shot and killed by Vinson on September 20, 2016. Officers had arrived at Scott's apartment complex to search for an unrelated suspect with an outstanding warrant. According to CMPD, officers say Scott exit his car in the parking lot while carrying a handgun, and he refused to comply with their orders.

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The shooting death caused days of protests and riots in Charlotte and prompted investigations by CMPD, the North Carolina State Burea of Investigation, and the U.S. Department of Justice. Prosecutors announced in November of last year that they were not going to charge Vinson, ruling that the shooting was justified.

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The CRB could not reverse prosecutors' decision not to charge Officer Vinson, however they do have the ability to recommend changes to police training, policy and procedures and ask Chief Putney to reverse his decision.

In a June preliminary hearing, the CRB determined there was substantial evidence of error. 

Following the board's announcement Thursday, attorneys for the Scott family said they respect the board's  decision, but still "do not maintain that this was a justifiable shooting." 

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