A police officer, who recently killed an African American in the US state of North Carolina, faces no charges as he did not engage in any wrongdoing, a prosecutor says.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg District Attorney Andrew Murray said Wednesday that killing of Keith Lamont Scott did not bring any charges against Officer Brentley Vinson.
“We cannot know what Scott’s intention was that day,” Murray said, confirming that the African American was carrying a gun when he was fatally shot in Charlotte, North Carolina on September 20.
Scott’s family has previously argued that the black man was not armed although Vinson informed another officer that he saw Scott with a gun before the confrontation.
Officers argue that his gun, a Colt .380 semi-automatic, dropped to the ground upon being shot dead.
According to Murray, the gun was cocked, its safety was off and there was one live round in its chamber.
“Mr. Scott’s DNA was found on the slide of the gun and the grip of the gun,” Murray said. The Charlotte police crime lab found Scott’s fingerprints on the gun, but the state crime lab “did not find that print to be of value,” he said.
“Mr. Scott illegally purchased the gun on Sept. 2,” Murray said, adding that the seller admitted to selling it on Facebook. “Basically the seller saw, what we all saw, the video of the incident and said, ‘I know that guy and I know that gun.”
The police officers were at the scene to deal with another suspect when they saw Scott with a gun and marijuana in a car.
The Wednesday ruling failed to satisfy Black Lives Matter protesters, who took to the streets in rain to denounce the decision.
They gathered outside the Charlotte police headquarters, where they held a peaceful protest.
Socott’s family, meanwhile, was considering filing a lawsuit against the decision.
US police brutality against African Americans in recent years has led to creation of the Black Lives Matter movement as part of a battle to end racial profiling of the black population.