BREAKING: Officer Who Shot Keith Lamont Scott “Acted Lawfully”

From CNN:

Charlotte police Officer Brentley Vinson’s deadly use of force was lawful the day he killed Keith Lamont Scott, Mecklenburg County District Attorney Andrew Murray said Wednesday in announcing no charges will be filed in the case.

In response to public speculation about whether Keith Lamont Scott was armed the day he was killed by police, Mecklenburg County District Attorney Andrew Murray said “all the credible evidence” leads to the conclusion Scott was armed.

His DNA was found on the grip of a gun found at the scene, Murray said.

Mecklenburg County District Attorney Andrew Murray is holding a news conference, describing new details from the day Keith Lamont Scott was killed by Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officer Brentley Vinson.

Murray showed surveillance footage from a convenience store shortly before Scott was shot at an apartment complex. The footage showed a bulge around Scott’s ankle. Murray said the bulge is consistent with the holster and gun later described by officers.

The district attorney also said at least three officers reported seeing Scott holding a gun before he was shot, though dashcam video did not show that detail.

Tulsa Police Officer Charged With Manslaughter In Shooting Death Of Terence Crutcher

Tulsa Police Officer Betty Shelby

Yahoo News has the details:

Prosecutors in Tulsa, Oklahoma, charged a white police officer who fatally shot an unarmed black man on a city street with first-degree manslaughter Thursday.

Tulsa County District Attorney Steve Kunzweiler filed the charges against officer Betty Shelby, who shot and killed 40-year-old Terence Crutcher on Sept. 16. Dashcam and aerial footage of the shooting and its aftermath showed Crutcher walking away from Shelby with his arms in the air.

The footage does not offer a clear view of when Shelby fired the single shot that killed Crutcher. Her attorney has said Crutcher was not following police commands and that Shelby opened fire when the man began to reach into his SUV window.

But Crutcher’s family immediately discounted that claim, saying the father of four posed no threat to the officers, and police said Crutcher did not have gun on him or in his vehicle.

ICYMI, here’s the helicopter view of the incident:


Woman Accidentally Shot Dead During “Citizens Academy” Exercise

Police Chief Tom Lewis

A 73 year old woman taking part in a “Citizens Academy” exercise with the Punta Gorda Police Department was accidentally shot dead by an officer who was unaware a live ammunition was loaded in the revolver being used.

Mary Knowlton, 73, died after being shot by a police officer during a shoot/don’t shoot scenario at a special Chamber Police Night similar to the department’s citizen police academy, the chief said.

The Punta Gorda Police Department has identified the officer involved in the shoot/don’t shoot as Lee Coel. Coel was hired by the police department on March 17, 2014.

Coel is frequently seen throughout the community providing department presentations and tours and specifically role-playing in these shoot/don’t shoot scenarios as well as a police presence at youth and neighborhood events, the police department said.

Coel remains on administrative leave while the investigation continues. The police department also said Coel is devastated by what happened and is receiving assistance from the department and the Police Benevolent Association.

According to reports, Coel was asked to resign from the Miramar Police Department after 14 months when he failed to complete an agency field training program.

Donald Trump: Obama’s Body Language Looks “Anti-Police”

It seems not matter how many times President Obama steps up to a podium to denounce violence on police officers, Donald Trump can’t seem to hear that message.

Repeating the phrase “there’s something going on” over and over, Donald Trump inferred that President Obama’s body language suggests that he is anti-police.

Via Politico:

In an interview Monday morning on Fox News’ “Fox and Friends,” Trump seemed to imply that the president had sided with those attacking police officers, despite Obama’s words to the contrary.

“I mean, you know, I watched the president and sometimes the words are okay,” Trump said. “But you just look at the body language. There’s something going on. Look, there’s something going on and the words are not often okay, by the way.”

“What does that mean, there’s something going on?” host Steve Doocy replied.

“There’s just a bad feeling, a lot of bad feeling about him,” Trump said. “I see it too. There’s a lot of bad feeling about him. We have a country that has not been like this since I can remember it.”

Update: Deadly Dallas Shooting Leaves 5 Police Officers Dead, 7 Injured

What we know about the deadly shooting in Dallas last night:

• The shooting broke out late Thursday during what had been a peaceful protest against shootings by police officers that claimed the lives of black men in Minneapolis and Baton Rouge, La. Approximately 800 people were marching through downtown, accompanied by 100 police officers.

• 5 police officers killed; 7 more injured, some critically; 2 civilians also injured.

• According to the Los Angeles Times, the gunman has been identified as 25-year-old Micah Xavier Johnson. The Times reports he had no known criminal history or ties to terror groups.

• The Pentagon has reported, via CNN, that the shooter had served in the Army Reserves.

• During a stand-off with police, Johnson told police he wanted to kill white people, especially police. Police Chief David Brown told reporters the shooter was upset about police killings of black people.

“The suspect said he was upset about Black Lives Matter. He said he was upset about recent police shootings. The suspect stated he wanted to kill white people, especially white officers. The suspect stated he was not affiliated with any groups and he stated that he did this alone.”

• The police negotiated with the shooter for several hours, exchanging more gunfire. The suspect was eventually killed by an explosive device sent in remotely using a police robot.

• Three suspects have been taken into custody but are not cooperating with the police.

President Obama issued this statement:

2016 presidential nominees Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump issued these statements via Twitter:

President Obama On Latest Fatal Police Shootings: “These Fatal Shootings Are Not Isolated Incidents”

President Obama responded to the two latest fatal shootings by members of the police force.

From the president’s Facebook page:

All Americans should be deeply troubled by the fatal shootings of Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and Philando Castile in Falcon Heights, Minnesota. We’ve seen such tragedies far too many times, and our hearts go out to the families and communities who’ve suffered such a painful loss.

Although I am constrained in commenting on the particular facts of these cases, I am encouraged that the U.S. Department of Justice has opened a civil rights investigation in Baton Rouge, and I have full confidence in their professionalism and their ability to conduct a thoughtful, thorough, and fair inquiry.

But regardless of the outcome of such investigations, what’s clear is that these fatal shootings are not isolated incidents. They are symptomatic of the broader challenges within our criminal justice system, the racial disparities that appear across the system year after year, and the resulting lack of trust that exists between law enforcement and too many of the communities they serve.

To admit we’ve got a serious problem in no way contradicts our respect and appreciation for the vast majority of police officers who put their lives on the line to protect us every single day. It is to say that, as a nation, we can and must do better to institute the best practices that reduce the appearance or reality of racial bias in law enforcement.

That’s why, two years ago, I set up a Task Force on 21st Century Policing that convened police officers, community leaders, and activists. Together, they came up with detailed recommendations on how to improve community policing. So even as officials continue to look into this week’s tragic shootings, we also need communities to address the underlying fissures that lead to these incidents, and to implement those ideas that can make a difference. That’s how we’ll keep our communities safe. And that’s how we can start restoring confidence that all people in this great nation are equal before the law.

In the meantime, all Americans should recognize the anger, frustration, and grief that so many Americans are feeling — feelings that are being expressed in peaceful protests and vigils. Michelle and I share those feelings. Rather than fall into a predictable pattern of division and political posturing, let’s reflect on what we can do better. Let’s come together as a nation, and keep faith with one another, in order to ensure a future where all of our children know that their lives matter.

Minnesota: Fatal Police Shooting Livestreamed On Facebook As Victim Lay Dying

Yet another deeply disturbing, violent death of an African-American male by police today.

This shooting occurred in St. Anthony, Minnesota, at a traffic stop for a broken tail light.

From USA Today:

St. Anthony interim Police Chief Jon Mangseth said Philando Castile, 32, was fatally shot during a traffic stop at about 9 p.m. Wednesday.

Diamond Reynolds said she and her 4-year-old daughter were in the car. She livestreamed the immediate aftermath of the shooting, which showed Castile bleeding and dazed while the officer continues to point his gun, so that “the people can determine who was right and who was wrong,” she said.

Gov. Mark Dayton expressed condolences to Castile’s family and asked the U.S. Justice Department to investigate the shooting. FBI Director James Comey said he expects federal authorities to investigate the case.

Mr. Castile’s mother, Valerie Castile, told reporters later that she had taught her son to be extremely cautious when encountering members of law enforcement. “If you get stopped by the police, comply,” Ms. Castile said. “Comply, comply, comply.”

The video streamed by Reynolds is below. Be aware it is graphic in nature.

Heartbreaking: Son Of Alton Sterling Breaks Down As Family Speaks Out On Police Shooting

The U.S. Department of Justice has announced a civil rights investigation into the death of 37 year old Alton Sterling, who was shot multiple times by police during an incident in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

Graphic video shot via cellphone, which appears to show Sterling being tackled and shot by two police officers, has gone viral within hours.

Sterling’s death sparked protests against police brutality in Baton Rouge, and family members and the local NAACP branch called for an independent review outside of the city’s police department.

“I have full confidence that this matter will be investigated thoroughly, impartially and professionally,” Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards said at a news conference Wednesday.

At a press conference Wednesday morning, Gov. John Bel Edwards said, “I have full confidence that this matter will be investigated thoroughly.”

From NBC News:

Baton Rouge police said uniformed officers responded to an anonymous call after midnight Tuesday about a black male in a red shirt who was selling CDs and had reportedly threatened the caller with a gun.
“”The video footage released today of the shooting of Alton Sterling … was deeply troubling.””

The officers, both of whom are white, “made contact” with the 5-foot-11 Sterling in the parking lot of the Triple S Food Mart, and an altercation ensued, police said in a statement.

“Sterling was shot during the altercation and died at the scene,” the statement said.

Two officers have been placed on administrative leave “per standard procedure,” it added, saying the investigation was ongoing.

In a heartbreaking moment, Sterling’s son broke down sobbing as his family made a public statement to the press today.