When officer involved shootings draw national media attention, friends and family of the “victims” often paint a picture of the victim that is biased. It takes time to sort through the complete picture, and what is found is often hard to swallow.
That’s exactly what’s happening in Charlotte. When Kieth Lamont Scott was killed by the Charlotte Police, the immediate reaction painted him as a loving family man, and a gentle giant that was killed becasue a cop thought a book was a gun. But that narrative is unraveling fast.
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If you believe the family, the Charlotte Police had no reason to even talk to Scott. His daughter made, in a what has become a very emotional viral video, claims he was holding a book.
The video released late last week–video recorded by his wife–furthered this line of reasoning. She proclaimed repeatedly that he didn’t have a gun. Yet early images of the crime scene included blurred images of what looked like a pistol, and details about an ankle holster.
Critics, though, claimed that these were just props planted by the police to ensure their use of violence would go unquestioned.
So what’s surfaced today? Details about Scott’s past. These details paint a picture of a violent man, and one who not only owns guns illegally, but had a habit of using them to threaten those closest to him.
— Jenna Barnes (@Jenna_Barnes) 26 сентября 2016 г.
The Gaston Gazette reported today that Scott’s wife had obtained a restraining order just a year ago:
On Oct. 5, a Gaston County District Court judge granted his wife a temporary restraining order. The court order told Scott not to go near his wife, three of their children and the children’s schools.
He was not allowed near their Gastonia apartment they’d called home since April 2014, according to court documents. He was told to turn over a black 9mm handgun he owned illegally.
Though the restraining order was eventually lifted, the record remains.
Eleven days later, Rakeyia Scott voluntarily dismissed the order against her husband, writing, “He is no longer a threat to me and my family.”
But three days before she got the order, Keith Scott had kicked her, punched their 8-year-old in the head three times and threatened to kill her with the gun, she had written.
“He said he is a ‘killer’ and we should know that,” she wrote.
She said the man she’d been married to since she was 18 did not have a gun permit and was a felon, having been incarcerated from April 2004 to April 2011.
She checked a box saying her husband had threatened her with the gun before.
This makes the reaction of the Black Lives Matter protestors in Charlotte seem oddly misplaced. Would protest have been so violent if they’d known they were protesting the death of an armed felon who punches an eight year old?
And what about the gun recovered from the scene of Scott’s death? That gun was stolen. After its theft, it was sold to Scott. The gun was stolen in a burglary. The culprit in that case–who has not been named–admits selling it to Scott.
As the picture of what happened to Scott becomes increasingly clear, and these moments from his past come to the surface, our understanding of the motivations of the officers on scene become much more complex. The basic “racist cop” narrative breaks down.