The social media stories and other reports that had circulated in the Charlotte community after a police officer fatally shot Keith Scott on Sept. 20 were slowly examined by Mecklenburg County District Attorney Andrew Murray. Charlotte was struck by rioting after the death, which some in the community saw as another case of excessive force used by a police officer. Scott’s wife said he didn’t have a gun. Some who claimed on social media to have seen the shooting later recanted. There were stories that other officers had shot Scott.
Those stories were not true, Murray found. The DA also reported that Scott was told 10 times by officers to drop his gun, and he did not. No one in Murray’s office found anything different than the conclusion he reached.
There will be those in the community, of course, who don’t believe the official version. But there is no indication that the investigation was anything less than complete. It may be understandable, given other clashes between police and members of the African-American communities around the United States, that there would be suspicions. And certainly police departments everywhere need to continue training in ways to de-escalate confrontations that can easily get out of hand. That kind of training would help officers stop some of those confrontations from becoming deadly.