Rep. Alma Adams called for calm Wednesday after no charges were brought against a Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officer in the shooting death of Keith Lamont Scott.
“Far too many families in America, particularly in communities like ours, have faced the pain of loss and the pain of a broken justice system,” Adams, D-N.C., a member of the Congressional Black Caucus, said in a statement. “My thoughts and prayers are with the family of Keith Lamont Scott, and I pray we give them the time and privacy to process today’s decision.”
Adams added: “For those who are frustrated, I hope you express these feelings in a peaceful and constructive manner.”
Mecklenburg County District Attorney Andrew Murray announced Wednesday morning that his office would not charge Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officer Brently Vinson, saying that “I’m extremely convinced that Mr. Vinson’s use of deadly force was lawful.”
Scott, 43, was shot Sept. 20 in a confrontation with police officers outside his apartment.
The district attorney said evidence in the case showed that Scott stepped out of his SUV with a gun in his hand and ignored at least 10 commands from the five officers on the scene to drop the weapon.
Scott bought the gun, a Colt .380 semi-automatic that had been stolen in Gaston County, 18 days before the incident for $100, Murray said.
Scott’s shooting touched off two nights of rioting in Charlotte and nearly a week of street demonstrations. The unrest prompted Gov. Pat McCrory to declare a state of emergency.
Adams, in her statement, said “the only way we can address police killings and repair the relationship between local law enforcement and our community is if we work together.”
“This tragedy is a painful reminder of the need for body cameras, for proper police training and for communities like ours to keep working at getting it right,” she said.