The controversy over the death of Keith Lamont Scott continues to get more complicated. While the family insisted that Scott was unarmed, that now appears false. Not only was a gun found at the scene but it reportedly had his DNA and fingerprints on it. Now, reports now indicate that Scott’s gun was stolen and bought illegally from the thief. In the meantime, however, protesters are now calling for the resignation of the mayor and the police chief in Charlotte.
After the family was confronted with the pictures of the gun, they insisted that Scott did not own a gun.
Moreover, it is now being reported that Scott was convicted of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon in 2005. He shot and injured a man in San Antonio, Texas after firing more than 10 rounds from a 9-millimeter pistol. In addition, in October 2015, Scott’s wife, Rakeyia, filed for a restraining order against him and stated in her petition that he was a threat he carried a 9-millimeter gun. He also reportedly threatened to kill the family.
As I have indicated in past coverage, the police have a strong presumption in their favor given the existing facts. If Scott was armed and clearly refused to comply with police orders, he could be seen as a sufficient threat for the use of lethal force under Tennessee v. Garner. The contradictions over Scott’s owning a weapon and his possession of the gun at the shooting strengthen the case for the police and, assuming these facts remain uncontroverted, would weaken any potential criminal prosecution.