Charlotte mayor reacts to cellphone video of police shooting
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WLOS) - News 13 spoke one-on-one with Charlotte Mayor Jennifer Roberts on Friday night. She reacted to seeing the cellphone footage released by Keith Lamont Scott’s widow earlier that day.
It was a statement she has repeated to many reporters with whom she has spoken.
“It’s a very painful video, it’s a very difficult video to watch, and it’s also very inconclusive,” said Roberts.
She said her office has reached out to the family to give its condolences, but she said Scott’s family has said they are not yet ready to meet with the mayor.
Roberts continues to say she would like to see the police footage released to the public. She added that the city has had a history of racial disparity.
"The spotlight is on Charlotte and is there tension between the police and the black community? You have acknowledged there have been incidents in the past that have possibly led to this tension," News 13's Kimberly King asked.
"Well, I think people are imperfect. And what we are implementing in our police force is implicit bias training, so that police officers are sensitized to the fact we all have stereotypes in our heads that can impact the way we do our job," Roberts replied. "They are a professional force; we also have mental health training.”
The mayor said police have other training as well, but added the city’s make-up is more diverse than in the past.
The video released by Mrs. Scott is what brought Jessica Patchett and Travis McKinney out to uptown Charlotte Friday night. The married couple is white and said their church, Covenant Presbyterian, is a Caucasian congregation, but one that is welcoming.
“I’m a member of our community,” said Patchett. "I’ve lived in Charlotte for a long time. I care about each person who is here. Black lives matter to us. We just want to be here and offer love and support.”
Friday night the National Guard remained in Charlotte. Shatiya Green and her boyfriend Paul Jackson were down to see the vigils and marches. Both have followed the week’s news closely.
“If someone is not a threat to you,” Green said. “You shouldn’t be taking their life."