Charlotte Police Chief Boldly Denies That He Ever Promised "full Transparency". | Gradient

Charlotte Police Chief boldly denies that he ever promised “full transparency.”


For two nights now, the city of Charlotte has been churning with protests over the shooting death of Keith Scott, a black man who was gunned down by a police officer. Witnesses say he was just reading a book in his car when he was shot. Police say he was pointing a gun. At a press conference on Thursday, police admitted that dashcam video does not provide “absolute, definitive, visual evidence that would confirm that a person is pointing a gun.”

What does that mean? Well, it’s hard to say, because the dashcam footage has not been made public. If you’re wondering why it hasn’t been made public, you’re not alone. Kerr Putney, chief of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg police, was asked that very question by a particularly livid reporter, and his response is something else.

“I never said ‘full transparency.’ I said ‘transparency,’ and transparency is in the eye of the beholder. The party right now who really is my priority in honoring their request is the victims of the shooting.”

Parsing the statement a bit here, it seems that Chief Putney wants to lower any expectations out there that might lead one to believe anyone besides the police themselves will be involved in investigating their own conduct. And, just in case it wasn’t entirely clear, he told the press that regarding the video, “you shouldn’t expect it to be released.” OK, then.

That said, it appears that Putney does plan to let Scott’s family see the dashcam footage, since they were the ones who are really “the victims of the shooting.” That’s fair enough, but it ignores the fact that every questionable use of lethal force by police damages the entire community’s relationship with police.

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