Disabled black man shot dead by police demonised by right-wing American press

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A state of emergency has been declared in Charlotte, as violent protests continue

Aimee Meade – The Independent

No one really knows what happened the night a disabled black man was shot dead by a police officer in Charlotte – a killing that has sparked three nights of riots in North Crolina and reignited racial tension in the US.

Despite the murky facts surrounding the case, it is the criminal record of Keith Lamont Scott that has become the focal point of the American right-wing press.

Media outlets such as the Inquisitr, and blogs, like The Conservative Treehouse and Powerline, have highlighted that Mr Scott had a “lengthy criminal record” and “history of violence” including convictions for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

Powerline said while it might be true that Mr Scott was likeable and a family man, his record “makes it all the more unfair to assume — as the Charlotte protesters do, explicitly or implicitly — that claims by the police that he was armed and potentially dangerous are untrue.”

Mr Scott’s death has led to two days of violent protest in Charlotte, after protesters refuted police claims that Mr Scott was armed. According to the police, Mr Scott got out of his car armed with a handgun and did not drop it when asked. Kerr Putney, Charlotte-Mecklenburg police chief, said Mr Scott was shot because he posed a threat.

However, protesters have said that Mr Scott, a father of seven, wasn’t armed and was carrying a book. Women identifying themselves as Mr Scott’s sister and daughter told local media that Mr Scott did not have a gun. “He wasn’t messing with nobody,” his sister said. The footage from a body camera worn by the policeman who shot Mr Scott, has not been released to the public, but was shown to Scott’s family. The family said they have “more questions than answers” after seeing the footage.

This isn’t the first time that the right-wing media has been accused of racial bias. Critics said it was convicted rapist Brock Turner’s “whiteness” that lead to the media highlighting his swimming success and minimal prison sentence.

A state of emergency has been declared in Charlotte as violence continues.

 

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