Mother of Keith Lamont Scott Talks About Shooting of Her Son in Charlotte

The mother of Keith Lamont Scott speaks with ABC News about the shooting.

ByABC News
September 22, 2016, 3:17 PM

— -- Vernita Walker was watching the news on Tuesday when she learned that her 43-year-old son, Keith Lamont Scott, had been shot by police outside an apartment complex in Charlotte, North Carolina. Scott was waiting for his 9-year-old son to be dropped off from school, she said.

"I will like justice for my child," Walker told ABC News.

Police said Scott was holding a handgun, which investigators recovered from the scene, and posed a threat because he was not obeying "loud, clear, verbal commands" to not exit his vehicle and to drop the weapon. An officer subsequently fired his weapon, hitting Scott, who was later pronounced dead.

The officers were searching for a suspect who had an outstanding warrant when they encountered Scott, according to a police statement, but he was not the person the officers sought.

Walker told ABC News that Scott was ill, after suffering brain damage from a motorcycle accident a few years ago. She maintains that her son was holding a book, not a weapon. She said that he was a father of seven children, ages 9 to 24, and that he would never have a gun around his young child.

"Me, as a mother, wants to know why he would be carrying a gun to pick up a little child," she said.

Police have identified the officer involved in the shooting as Brentley Vinson, who has been employed with the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department since July 21, 2014, and is currently assigned to the metro division. He has been placed on paid administrative leave as the investigation continues, according to Police Chief Kerr Putney.

Vinson was not wearing a body camera at the time, but the other officers who responded to the incident were.

The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department today said it plans to show video of Scott's fatal shooting to his family. But Putney said the footage he has reviewed does not provide "definitive visual evidence that would confirm that a person is pointing a gun."

"I did not see that in the videos that I reviewed," Putney said at a news conference today. "So what I can tell you, though, is when taken in the totality of all the other evidence, it supports what we've heard and the version of the truth that we gave about the circumstances that happened that led to the death of Mr. Scott."

The shooting has sparked violent protests in Charlotte. Angry demonstrators demanding justice for Scott have looted businesses, damaged property and injured officers, police said. Law enforcement and city officials have called for peace and patience while authorities investigate the shooting.

Scott's mother echoed those calls for calm today.

"I don't want people in there rioting and breaking up properties," she told ABC News. "If they're gonna have a rally, do it right."

ABC News' Kristen McFann contributed to this report.

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