ACLU of North Carolina Responds to Lack of Charges in Police Killing of Keith Lamont Scott
CHARLOTTE – Today Mecklenburg County District Attorney Andrew Murray announced that he will not bring charges against the police officer who killed Keith Lamont Scott. The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department has said that Mr. Scott was shot while officers were trying to execute an arrest warrant for a different person.
Susanna Birdsong, Policy Counsel of the ACLU of North Carolina, had this comment:
“The district attorney’s decision not to bring charges in Keith Lamont Scott’s killing leaves the people of Charlotte with profound and unsettling questions. How will the city and the police department ensure that this kind of tragedy doesn’t happen again? What steps has or will the city take to heal the community’s pain and do everything it can to prevent the police from causing such pain in the future? The bottom line is, whether or not the facts here should have resulted in criminal charges, Mr. Scott should be alive today.
“There is a desperate need to invest appropriate time and resources and have policies to ensure that all Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officers employ de-escalation tactics, avoid implicit bias, and take into account how mental disabilities can affect a person’s behavior. We also repeat our calls for Charlotte leaders to provide additional powers to the city’s Citizens Review Board in order to better enable community members to investigate police misconduct.
“Taking these steps will make the police more effective at their job: protecting and serving the people of Charlotte.”