CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Charlotte police Officer Brentley Vinson’s deadly use of force was lawful the day he killed Keith Lamont Scott, Mecklenburg County District Attorney Andrew Murray said Wednesday.
He said no charges will be filed in the case and that 15 prosecutors reached the decision unanimously. Murray urged the community to remain calm.
“I know some are going to be frustrated,” he said, but Vinson “was justified in shooting him.”
The district attorney said he met with Scott’s family before making the announcement, and that the family was “extremely gracious.”
Murray said “all the credible evidence” leads to the conclusion Scott was armed. His DNA was found on the grip of a gun found at the scene, Murray said.
Murray showed surveillance footage from a convenience store shortly before Scott was shot at an apartment complex. The footage showed a bulge around Scott’s ankle. Murray said the bulge is consistent with the holster and gun later described by officers.
The district attorney also said at least three officers reported seeing Scott holding a gun before he was shot, though dashcam video did not show that detail.
The 43-year-old black man’s death sparked protests and added more fuel to the national debate over whether police are too quick to use deadly force, particularly against African-American men.
Vinson is also black.
Police said they were looking for someone with an outstanding warrant when Scott, 43, exited a vehicle with a gun.
Scott’s family said the father of seven children didn’t have a gun. But police say Vinson opened fire after Scott stepped out of a vehicle with a gun in his hand and didn’t obey commands to drop it.