The family of a black man fatally shot by police in the US have released their own video of the killing that sparked three days of protests in Charlotte, North Carolina, and have called on law enforcement officials to release their recordings of the incident.
The actual moment of the shooting of 43-year-old Keith Scott, a father of seven, is not seen in the two-minute video, which was recorded by the slain man's wife, Rakeyia, and released to US media on Friday.
In the dramatic video, Rakeyia Scott can be heard pleading with the armed officers to not shoot her husband.
"Don't shoot him! He has no weapon," she can be heard telling the officers who are aiming their pistols and can her heard shouting "Drop the gun!"
Scott's wife tells the officers that her husband has a traumatic brain injury. At one point, she tells her husband to get out of the car so that the police do not break the windows.
As the encounter escalates, she repeatedly tell the officers: "You better not shoot him".
About a half-dozen gunshots can be heard in the video, followed by Rakeyia Scott's scream, "Did you shoot him? He better not be dead".
214th black person killed by police
Police said Scott was shot dead on Tuesday after he disregarded repeated warnings to drop a gun. Neighbours have said he was holding only a book. Police said a gun was found next to his body.
Scott's death was the latest in a long line of controversial killings of black people by police and sparked two days of rioting in Charlotte, North Carolina's largest city.
Protesters have dismissed the claim by police that Scott was holding a gun when he was killed.
No weapon can be seen in the video released on Friday, which was filmed by Rakeyia Scott standing just a few metre from where her husband is shot.
Charlotte-Mecklenberg Police Chief Kerr Putney has said video taken by police body cameras supports the police's version of events that Scott was armed, but he has refused to release the video publicly.
He told reporters on Friday that releasing the video now could harm the investigation into the shooting, which is being led by the state, Reuters news agency reported.
"I know the expectation is that video footage can be the panacea and I can tell you that is not the case," Putney said, adding that he would eventually agree to release the police videos.
"It's a matter of when and a matter of sequence," he said.
Demonstrators chanted "release the tape" and "we want the tape" during protests on Thursday night while briefly blocking an intersection and later climbing the steps to the door of the Charlotte city government centre, the Associated Press news agency reported.
"There's nothing in that video that shows him acting aggressively, threatening or maybe dangerous," Justin Bamberg, one of the lawyers representing the Scott family, said in an interview with Reuters.
Bamberg, who has also seen the police video, said in that video Scott gets out of his vehicle calmly.
"While police did give him several commands, he did not aggressively approach them or raise his hands at members of law enforcement at any time. It is impossible to discern from the videos what, if anything, Mr. Scott is holding in his hands," Bamberg said in a statement.
Scott was shot as he walked slowly backward with his hands by his side, Bamberg said, the AP reported.
Scott was the 214th black person killed by US police so far this year out of an overall total of 821, according to Mapping Police Violence, another group created out of the protest movement over police shootings.
There is no national-level government data on police shootings.
North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory, a Republican locked in a tight re-election race , signed a law last week that would require authorities to obtain a court order before releasing police video.
Critics say the law would prevent the sort of transparency that is needed to defuse public anger in the wake of police shootings.
Charlotte is the latest US city to be shaken by protests and recriminations over the killing 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: News Agencies