License to kill - America’s crackpot gun violence

A disturbing video of yet another black man being shot dead by police is out, roiling protestors and plunging North Carolina into the third night of unrest and rioting.

Nikhila Natarajan September 24, 2016 07:30:15 IST
License to kill - America’s crackpot gun violence

A disturbing video of yet another black man being shot dead by police is out, roiling protestors and plunging Charlotte, North Carolina, into the fourth night of unrest and rioting.

License to kill  Americas crackpot gun violence

Charlotte on edge after new video surfaces of Keith Scott's death /AP

Below is the transcript of a bizarre conversation before cops in North Carolina shot Keith Scott. The victim's wife Rakeyia Scott shot the video on her mobile phone and her voice can be heard loud and clear, pleading with the police to spare her husband. Reader discretion is advised while reading the transcript - strong language, verbatim.

Cop: Don’t shoot. Drop the gun. Drop the fucking gun.
Rakeyia Scott: Don’t shoot him. Don’t shoot him.
Cop: Drop the gun.
Scott: He didn’t do anything.
Cop: Drop the gun. Drop the gun.
Scott: He doesn’t have a gun. He has a T.B.I. (Traumatic Brain Injury).
Cop: Drop the gun.
Scott: He is not going to do anything to you guys.
Scott: He just took his medicine.
Cop: Drop the gun. Let me get a fucking baton over here. [muffled]
Scott: Keith, don’t let them break the windows. Come on out the car.
Cop: (muffled)
Cop: Drop the gun.
Scott: Keith! Don’t do it.
Cop: Drop the gun.
Scott: Keith, get out the car. Keith! Keith! Don’t you do it! Don’t you do it! Keith!
Cop: Drop the gun.
Scott: Keith! Keith! Keith! Don’t you do it! [SHOTS]
Scott: Fuck. Did you shoot him? Did you shoot him? Did you shoot him? He better not be fucking dead. He better not be fucking dead. I know that fucking much. I know that much. He better not be dead. I’m not going to come near you. I’m going to record, though. I’m not coming near you. I’m going to record, though. He better be alive because ...I come You better be alive. How about that?Yes, we here, over here at 50 ... 50 ...9453 Lexington Court. These are the police officers that shot my husband, and he better live. He better live. Because he didn’t do nothing to them.
Cop: Is everybody good? Are you good?
Scott: He good. Nobody ... touch nobody, so they’re all good.
Cop: You good?
Scott: I know he better live. I know he better live. How about that I’m not coming to you guys, but he’d better live. He better live. You all hear it, you see this, right? He better live.
Cop: [muffled]
Cop: He better live. I swear, he better live. Yep, he better live. He better fucking live. He better live. Where is...He better fucking live, and I can’t even leave the damn...I ain’t going nowhere. I’m staying in the same damn spot. What the fuck. That’s O.K. did you all call the police? I mean, did you all call an ambulance?

Nationwide protests

Keith Scott’s shooting by police in Charlotte along with that of another black man, Terence Crutcher, in Tulsa, Oklahoma, has prompted demonstrations nationwide.

Scott had parked his truck in a visitor’s space in their apartment complex, where he often waited for one of his children to return home on a bus. The police were in the same location to serve a warrant on someone else.

In an all too familiar and disturbing pattern, multiple policemen and their cars surround Scott and shoot him dead while his wife Rakeyia Scott can be heard screaming “Don’t shoot him! Don’t shoot him!”

In the new video, Scott’s body can be seen on the ground, where officers appear to try to attend to him, but his actual shooting isn't shown.

In the video, Rakeyia Scott tells officers her husband doesn't have a gun, has a traumatic brain injury and won't hurt them. She says, "Keith, don't let them break the windows" as she urges him to exit his car. She further tells him, "don't do it," but it's not clear exactly what she means.

North Carolina's attorney general is calling on Charlotte officials to release police video of the shooting of a man by an officer this week but the cops are playing hardball.

Officers tell Scott to drop the gun, but it's unclear from the footage whether he has a weapon. Police have said he was armed, but witnesses say he had just a book in his hand. Scott's mother says she last talked to her son less than two hours before the shooting and learned of his death from TV news. She says the book he was holding was the Quran, which he loved to read daily.

Scott is dead and we don’t know if he was carrying a gun and what the provocation was for so many cops to surround a man who his wife says had a brain injury.

Open carry: Bread, butter and guns

In a country of painless gun laws, it’s legal to open-carry in 45 states. America has more than 14 million carry permits and open carry means different freedoms in different states. You can carry a gun into buildings in Kentucky, into school in Michigan, into the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, into grocery stores in Georgia, and anywhere you please in Mississippi.

American civilians own far more guns than anybody else on the planet. Guns in America were never exceptional, they have always been perceived as part of the bric a brac lying around near the front door, like shoes, baseballs and coats.

Just after the unbearably brutal school shooting that killed 20 children and 6 staff members in 2012 in Newtown, Connecticut, a bipartisan bill for something as basic as background checks for gun buyers came up short. That’s how strong the National Rifle Association is - they control voters in swing states. Politicians need those swing states, like Trump needs Florida or Hillary needs Pennsylvania to take the White House. The cookie crumbles.

Guns, racism, immigration, jobs - these are not some disparate themes in America's election. Its a nation on the boil - the rage of the white man who still does not know who made those blasted laws allowing migrant geeks and laborers, doctors and engineers from across the world to invade the intellectual space he may not want to occupy.

Time and again, Obama has said, tearful and sincere, that America's gun culture must obsess us.

That’s precisely what ties Americans to guns - obsession.

When Obama ran for his first term, 'Change' was his campaign's central pitch.

Quickly, bumper stickers were plastered with vengeance across majority white states - "You keep the change, we'll keep our guns."

Eight years of Obama and gun possession is only rising. Unlikely that will change.

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