The Slatest

Cellphone Video Shows Keith Scott’s Wife Pleading “Don’t Shoot Him” Before Police Open Fire

Despite public demands to see the tape, the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department has so far refused to release its video footage of the shooting death of Keith Lamont Scott at the hands of its officers this week. The shooting of Scott, who is black, by officers provoked days and nights of sometimes peaceful, sometimes violent protests in downtown Charlotte. On Friday, attorneys for the Scott family preempted the police force and released cell phone footage taken by Scott’s wife, Rakeyia Scott, in the moments before her husband was killed.

Advertisement

The graphic video shows a frantic Rakeyia Scott pleading with the officers not to shoot her husband. “Don’t shoot him,” she repeats at the beginning of the 2-plus minute tape. “He has no weapon.” You can hear police officers closer to the scene shouting to her husband to drop the gun. “He doesn’t have a gun… He has a T.B.I. (Traumatic Brain Injury)… He just took his medicine,” Rakeyia Scott can be heard saying in response, moments before police begin firing.

Advertisement
Advertisement

The sound of a wife watching her husband get shot is unthinkably distressing and heartbreaking. The footage provides new insight into the scene at the time of shooting, but neither the audio nor video helps determine whether Keith Scott was carrying a gun, which police say was found near the body, and “posed an imminent deadly threat to the officers.”  The Scott family lawyers admitted as much, but said they hoped the police would release their footage to paint a fuller picture of what happened. “Mr. Scott had parked his car in a visitor’s space in their apartment complex, where he often waited for one of his children to return home on a bus. The police were there to serve a warrant on someone else,” according to the New York Times. “The lawyers said Ms. Scott had come out of the apartment with a cellphone charger for her husband and noticed that police officers were around the truck.”

Advertisement

Here’s a transcript of the video (via the New York Times):

OFFICER: Hands up!

RAKEYIA SCOTT: Don’t shoot him. Don’t shoot him. He has no weapon. He has no weapon. Don’t shoot him.

OFFICER: Don’t shoot. Drop the gun. Drop the fucking gun.

Advertisement

RAKEYIA SCOTT: Don’t shoot him. Don’t shoot him.

OFFICER: Drop the gun.

RAKEYIA SCOTT: He didn’t do anything.

OFFICER: Drop the gun. Drop the gun.

RAKEYIA SCOTT: He doesn’t have a gun. He has a T.B.I. (Traumatic Brain Injury).

OFFICER: Drop the gun.

RAKEYIA SCOTT: He is not going to do anything to you guys.

RAKEYIA SCOTT: He just took his medicine.

OFFICER: Drop the gun. Let me get a fucking baton over here. [muffled]

Advertisement

RAKEYIA SCOTT: Keith, don’t let them break the windows. Come on out the car.

OFFICER: [muffled]

OFFICER:Drop the gun.

RAKEYIA SCOTT: Keith! Don’t you do it.

OFFICER: Drop the gun.

RAKEYIA SCOTT: Keith, get out the car. Keith! Keith! Don’t you do it! Don’t you do it! Keith!

OFFICER: Drop the gun.

RAKEYIA SCOTT: Keith! Keith! Keith! Don’t you do it! [SHOTS]

RAKEYIA SCOTT: Fuck. Did you shoot him? Did you shoot him? Did you shoot him? He better not be fucking dead. He better not be fucking dead. I know that fucking much. I know that much. He better not be dead. I’m not going to come near you. I’m going to record, though. I’m not coming near you. I’m going to record, though. He better be alive because …I come You better be alive. How about that? Yes, we here, over here at 50 … 50 …9453 Lexington Court. These are the police officers that shot my husband,and he better live. He better live. Because he didn’t do nothing to them.

Advertisement
Advertisement

OFFICER: Is everybody good? Are you good?

RAKEYIA SCOTT: He good. Nobody … touch nobody, so they’re all good.

OFFICER: You good?

RAKEYIA SCOTT: I know he better live. I know he better live. How about that I’m not coming to you guys, but he’d better live. He better live. You all hear it, you see this, right? He better live.

OFFICER: [muffled]

AKEYIA SCOTT: He better live. I swear, he better live. Yep, he better live. He better fucking live. He better live. Where is…He better fucking live, and I can’t even leave the damn…I ain’t going nowhere. I’m staying in the same damn spot. What the fuck. That’s O.K. did you all call the police? I mean, did you all call an ambulance.

Advertisement