Who is Brentley Vinson and are the causes of the riots completely unfounded given what we know now?
Charlotte has become the center of our national attention.
Much of this attention has fallen upon the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department, as it investigates the circumstances leading up to the death of Keith Lamont Scott, 43, on Tuesday. Police say Scott was armed and the shooting appeared to be justified; Scott’s family disputes this.
The department swiftly identified the officer who shot and killed Scott as Brentley Vinson, 26, and placed him on administrative leave.
The deadly encounter sparked riots and violent protests and became a focal point for outrage from the Black Lives Matter movement, which broadly accuses officers of using excessive force against black men.
But in a twist from many of the police-involved shootings that have led to demonstrations, both the officer and the slain man in Charlotte are African-American.
Now Vinson has been placed in the national spotlight.
The Charlotte Observer reported that Vinson, who has been with the department for two years, played football while attending Ardrey Kell High School and sought to follow in his father’s footsteps to become a cop.
His football coach at Jay M. Robinson Middle School, Larry Kennedy, told the local paper that he would frequently talk about one day becoming a federal officer. A reporter for WSOC-TV tweeted that Vinson’s father was one of the department’s first black detectives.
Vinson continued playing football at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va., where he majored in criminal justice. The coaching staff at the time described his athletic ability in glowing terms on his player bio.
“Had an excellent spring at a new position … brings speed to the position … provides tremendous speed in blitzing and coming off the edges … real physical ball player … can cover a lot of ground … will play deep sometimes … makes the defense stronger.”
One of Vinson’s friends, Michael Scurlock, told CNN that Vinson is “distraught” and “torn” over the incident.
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Video: Riots hit Charlotte on Wednesday after a black man who cops claim was armed was killed by police a day earlier.
Keith Lamont Scott was shot to death by Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officer Brentley Vinson, WCCB Charlotte reported, citing local police.
Police were investigating an apartment complex and looking to serve a warrant on Tuesday afternoon. The warrant wasn’t for Scott, but another suspect.
Police said officers saw Scott sitting in his car, before exiting the vehicle armed with a gun, then getting back inside.
Scott’s family said he was actually holding a book.
As they approached the car, police allege that Scott got out and “posed an imminent deadly threat to the officers”. The cops then opened fire and shot Scott dead.
A man claiming to be Scott’s brother said in a video posted to Twitter that Scott was reading in his car when the shooting took place. He explained that undercover cops got out of a truck and yelled “Gun!”, then shot Scott to death.
As news of the shooting spread, protests, robbing, looting and riots broke out across the city. Protesters reportedly chanted “Black Lives Matter”, citing police discrimination against black people.
At least four cops were injured and a civilian was shot in the head, WCCB Charlotte reported. Officials said that person is in critical condition in the hospital.
North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory was forced to declare a State of Emergency in Charlotte and deploy the National Guard to the city.