US police have released video footage recorded by officers involved in the fatal shooting of Keith Scott, the 43-year-old father of seven whose killing sparked days of protests in the city of Charlotte and reignited rage over the use of lethal force against black men.
Prior to releasing the footage, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Chief Kerr Putney told reporters on Saturday that evidence shows that Scott was in possession of a handgun during the confrontation. He also said that Scott was in possession of marijuana at the time.
"The footage itself will not create in anyone's mind absolute certainty as to what this case represents and what the outcome should be," said Putney, who described the videos as supporting other evidence, rather than being standalone proof.
After watching the released footage, Joe Cox, a military veteran in Charlotte, described the police's behaviour as "really aggressive".
"His wife was talking to him, trying to calm him down and trying to calm down the police at the same time ... It seems the police just escalated the situation," he told Al Jazeera.
He said the video had not convinced him to believe the police account of events.
"I didn't see him with a gun in his hand," Cox said.
On its official Twitter account, the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department said the "Videos show no definitive visual evidence Mr Scott had a gun in his hand. But Chief Putney says other evidence from the scene proves it".
That tweet and several others related to the police video footage were shortly after deleted from the police department's Twitter account.
On Friday, Scott's wife Rakeyia released her own dramatic video of the fatal shooting to the US media, and called on the police to release their video recordings of the incident.
In Rakeyia Scott's two-minute video, the actual moment her husband was shot was not shown, but she can be heard pleading with the armed officers not to shoot her husband.
Rakeyia Scott tells the officers that her husband is unarmed.
There was no visible weapon near Scott's body in the video, which was filmed a few metres from the scene.
Police had previously said a black officer - named as Brentley Vinson - fired the fatal shots at Scott after he ignored repeated warnings to drop a gun.
However, neighbours said he was holding only a book. Police said a gun was found next to his body.
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Vinson, a two-year member of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg police department, has been placed on leave, standard procedure in such cases.
Scott's death extends a long line of black victims killed by police, and protesters have dismissed the police account that Scott was holding a gun when he was killed.
Many continued their protest for a fourth night on Friday into the early hours of Saturday, defying a recently imposed curfew from midnight to 6am.
'214 black Americans killed by police'
Scott was the 214th black person killed by US police so far this year of 821, according to Mapping Police Violence.
There is no national-level government data on police shootings.
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North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory, a Republican, signed a law last week that would require authorities to obtain a court order before releasing police video. Critics said the law would prevent the transparency needed to quell public anger in the wake of police shootings.
Charlotte is the latest US city to be shaken over police killings of black men by police, a list that includes Baltimore, Milwaukee, Chicago, New York and Ferguson, Missouri.
In Tulsa, Oklahoma, on Thursday, prosecutors charged a white police officer with manslaughter for killing an unarmed black man on a city street last week.
Source: Al Jazeera News And News Agencies