(CNN)Questions, outrage and violent protests are looming over Charlotte, just days after Keith Lamont Scott, a black man, was killed by police in the parking lot of an apartment complex.
There are a lot of things we don’t know for sure. We do know that Scott was a 43-year-old father and husband. But with no official video or singular narrative to go on, there are critical differences in the way police and Scott’s family and advocates are interpreting his death.
WHAT WAS SCOTT DOING?
Police say: Scott was sitting in a car and got out with a gun. Charlotte Fraternal Order of Police spokesman Todd Walther reviewed dashcam footage and claimed the plainclothes officers at the scene were wearing vests or jackets that clearly had “police” written on them.
The family says: Scott did not have a gun and was reading a book. In an impassioned Facebook live video, Scott’s daughter, Lyric, said her father often liked to go outside to read a book and was waiting to pick his son up from school.
DID HE HAVE A GUN?
Police say: Scott was armed and “made an obvious threat to the officers,” according to a police official who viewed dashcam of the incident. The Charlotte police chief also said Scott had a gun, and claimed witnesses and evidence support that.
The family says: Scott was unarmed. In her Facebook live video, Lyric Scott is visibly upset. She has just learned her father has been shot and is navigating a confusing police scene. In the moment, she says her father did not have a gun.
WHAT ASSUMPTIONS ARE BEING MADE?
Scott’s death has spurred national outrage and violent protests in the city of Charlotte. Both sides — those who believe the shooting may have been justified and those who believe Scott’s death was akin to murder — are accusing the other of jumping to conclusions.
Protesters say: Police may have profiled Scott because of his race. That’s the view of local NAACP leaders. It is also a central theme of protesters who see Scott’s death as an example of lopsided, racially-driven police brutality.
Police say: The community is basing its interpretation on rhetoric and assumptions that may not fit the facts.
WILL RELEASING POLICE FOOTAGE HELP?
Officer Brentley Vinson, who shot and killed Scott, was not wearing a body camera at the time of the shooting. However, three other officers were, and that footage has unsurprisingly become a point of contention for both sides.
Police say: Police Chief Kerr Putney said he has no intention of releasing the video. He also said Scott’s family has requested to see the video, and he hopes to accommodate that. He said releasing the video publicly would be presenting “a victim’s worst day.” There’s also a legal precedent: In July, North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory signed a law that would block the release of law enforcement recordings from body cameras or dashboard cameras with limited exceptions. That law will go into effect in October.
Protesters say: Community members and analysts say, if it is released, it’ll help answer much-needed questions.