CHARLOTTE, NC (FOX 46 WJZY) - The attorney for the family of Keith Scott, the man shot and killed by a CMPD officer last September, says the family is pleased with the Citizen Review Board’s decision that CMPD may have made an error when it said the shooting was justified.
Late Tuesday night a board made up of 11 Charlotte citizens said there is what’s called “evidence of error” in CMPD’s decision that the shooting death of Keith Lamont Scott last September by a CMPD officer was justified. But that board has not yet made its final decision.
“One of the big impacts is to give the community some confidence that the system works. They’ve considered almost 70 cases in the past, and not one of them have they ever ruled for a citizen,” Charles Monnett, the Scott family attorney, said.
At a CMPD press briefing Wednesday, the Internal Affairs commander says she stands by the department’s decision. CMPD found that Officer Brentley Vinson was justified in shooting Scott, and in a separate investigation, the District Attorney decided not to press criminal charges against Vinson.
“Our homicide detective is very thorough when they do their investigations. The SBI did this particular one. I reviewed the entire thing. It was very thorough. I think when our District Attorney outlined everything, he was very thorough from what came out of the investigation, so I have full confidence in the investigation and what was determined with that,” Major Stella Patterson said.
In August the Citizens Review Board will hold another hearing on the Scott case. That one will be more in depth similar to a trial. The board will then make its final decision and give a recommendation to the police chief.
The Citizens Review Board does not have the power to discipline or fire an officer. Robert Dawkins, a community activist who has been pushing for more diversity and other changes on the board, says their vote in the Scott case Tuesday was a step in the right direction.
“It’s important for the first time hopefully, whatever Citizens Review Board would say, yes, something was done wrong here, and we want to see justice.”
Keith Scott’s family members were not at the hearing Tuesday night.
The family attorney says Scott’s wife was excited that they made it past the first step in the process with the board. The lawyer says Scott’s wife could be called by the board at the next hearing, since she was a witness and recorded cell phone video as her husband was shot and killed.