by Scott Creighton
In an environment where one half of the presidential campaign is suddenly focused almost entirely on creating racial division among the electorate and where millionaire professional football players are taking a knee in support of the pursuit of more racial equality in our justice system, we find ourselves with two very different and potentially defining moments in this country and this Black Lives Matter movement in general.
On Sept. 17th, Tulsa Police Officer Betty Shelby shot and killed Terence Crutcher, a 40-year-old unarmed black man, after his car was found disabled in the middle of the road. Crutcher had apparently approached Officer Shelby’s vehicle when pulled up onto the scene while on route to another call. There are two videos which clearly show the event as it unfolded and in one of the videos from a police helicopter flying above, an officer can be heard describing Crutcher as a “bad dude”. He was driving a family SUV, walking with his hands up and wearing khaki pants. So what made him look like a “bad dude” to the officer? Officer Shelby is a petite white woman whose lawyer stated she was frightened and felt threatened because he was a large man, not because of the color of his skin.
This is a very cut and dry case. You don’t kill someone because they refuse to OBEY and do so calmly and peacefully. The “bad dude” comment makes it much worse. Clearly, racial issues aside, tiny Tulsa Police Officer Betty Shelby should never have been a cop in the first place. You don’t get to shoot people because you’re scared of large men.
In this case, Tulsa police arrested Officer Shelby and charged her with manslaughter and yet, what could have been a major rallying point for the Black Lives Matter movement has quickly dropped off the radar of the national press… because of Charlotte.
This past Tuesday, the 20th of Sept. there was another shooting incident involving a very similar set of circumstances.
Keith Scott, was shot and killed by a black officer in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Early reports stated he was on his porch reading a book and was shot by officers, once again, attending to another call. After further review it turns out Mr. Scott was in a vehicle and then he got out of that vehicle while several officers had guns drawn on him. He then moved toward the position of one of the officers and after apparently ignoring several commands to drop his “gun”, was shot a few feet from that position one of the officers was holding.
His wife says he didn’t have a gun, but only a book. Video she released is inconclusive as to what he was really holding but there are clues.
In the shaky-cam video (which I will address the legitimacy of later) you can clearly see officers picking up something from the ground, something black. They appear to be gloves. Driving gloves to be more specific. Those gloves are clearly seen. What isn’t clearly seen in that video, is a gun.
The video I am talking about is found at the end of this article but I have taken some screen-shots from it for clarity’s sake.
First I would like to show you how far Keith Scott traveled in what appears from the video to be about 8 or 9 seconds just before he is shot.
Keith Scott got out of his vehicle (another family SUV by the way) and moved directly toward the position being held by the officer next to his cruiser and he did so in what appears to be about 8 or 9 seconds. That’s about 20 to 25 feet and again moving directly toward an officer with his gun drawn.
There was another officer on the passenger side of the white truck and another on the driver’s side of the dark colored SUV next to the white cruiser. That means Keith Scott walked right into the middle of a triangulation of fire.
Why would anyone in such circumstances exit their vehicle and hastily advance on an officer who already had his weapon drawn? In the video recorded by his wife, you do not hear Keith responding to officers in any way. His voice is never heard only those of officers demanding he drop his “gun” 9 times.
Here is an image of the aftermath with Keith laying on the ground near the front of the white cruiser and officers standing over him after the shooting. Notice the black gloves in the image and something lying next to an officer’s left foot.
What is next to his foot? It’s never really exposed in the video and the gloves on the ground and the other thing in the officer’s hand make me wonder if it’s not another glove from a second set. Or it could be a gun. It’s very ambiguous. But one thing we can clearly note is just how far Mr. Scott moved from his position in the driver’s seat of the SUV toward the officers and we can also deduce it may very well have been that those gloves lying there on the ground were not being worn by Mr. Scott (not enough time for officers to have removed them) or the officers (no reason to suddenly pull gloves off their hands as this unfolded)
So we could deduce from this image that Mr. Scott had the driving gloves in his hand as he exited the driver’s seat of the SUV and it could very well be that it was those black gloves he had in his hand that officers mistook for a weapon as he came at them quickly across the street.
Now look at this image from another source that was released the other day which supposedly shows a gun lying on the ground well after this scene took place (yellow police tape already up at the scene)
In this image you can clearly see what appears to be a very small gun lying near where the officer in the previous image had been standing. Mr. Scott’s pants are now down. This is a curious detail.
Notice the gun in relation to the wallet lying there next to the officer’s foot. Do you see how small that gun is? I think that means one of two things:
- the gun was found in his pants which explains it’s small size. Sometimes men will keep guns there for protection and the fact that they pulled down his pants might indicate they felt it on his body as they were searching him.
- the other possibility is that it’s an ankle gun or a “drop gun”. The small size makes it easy to conceal in a holster strapped to an officer’s ankle.
In this image you can compare the location of the gun in the previous images.
The “gun” is definitely not in the same position in the “pants down” image as it is in the “pants up” one. Why they would move it closer to the suspect is hard to explain which makes me think the thing in the first image next to the officers foot is not the gun shown in the second image. They certainly had no reason to drag Mr. Scott’s body into a different position. That is why I offer those two possibilities above.
Therefore, the Rakeyia Scott video brings up a lot of questions but does very little to shed light on this event and that is mainly due to Rakeyia Scott.
I fail to understand why all of these videos are so shaky. In this one’s case, she not only shakes the video phone recorder constantly throughout the recording making it impossible to see much of the event clearly, but she also runs away and films the ground street at the crucial moment of the event, leaving us no clear record of what happened to her husband.
One thing to note: at the beginning of the video the officers are telling him to “drop the gun” while Scott is still in the vehicle with the doors closed and the windows up. How did they see a gun in his hand at that point in the video?
After telling her husband to “get out the car”, Rakeyia Scott deliberately points her camera to the ground and moves further away from the developing scene just as everything unfolds. She quickly turns the camera back and we can see what appears to be Keith Scott out of the car, wearing those teal colored track pants and standing in the middle of the officers. But apparently his back is to the camera as his wife says “Don’t you do it!”
That is all of the event we are able to see as Rakeyia again points the camera phone away from the action unfolding around her husband.
The gunfire erupts and she seems to make a dash down the street and when it is over, she turns the camera back in the direction of the event declaring “He bet not be fuckin dead”
After telling officers “he better live” about 20 times, Rakeyia never bothers to call out to her dying husband or move toward him to provide him comfort as he passes.
At the end of the video Rakeyia asks “Did yall call the police?” and then catches herself and says “I mean, call an ambulance?”
It was such a striking slip of the tongue even the Huffington Post had to address it. Almost like she flubbed a line.
The whole point of recording an interaction with police is to record the interaction. In this case it seems as if every step was taken to ensure that didn’t happen. Why she ran as he came out of the vehicle is unclear. What she meant by “Don’t you do it” is also unclear. Keith Scott’s behavior at that critical moment is lost in this video at least and the ambiguity is so startling it’s almost as if it’s the whole point of the video. And of course, the flubbed line at the end and her apparent lack of empathy for her dying husband paints a interesting picture.
We have seen a number of clearly staged events in the recent past. I don’t know for sure one way or another about this one. But the hallmarks of a “hearts and minds” psyop are certainly there.
Currently the big move is to have the local police release the dash-cam footage and the body camera footage from the scene. And what are they going to tell us?
I think it is certainly possible that this entire event was stage managed in order to distract from the Terence Crutcher shooting.
In that case there a clear video showing not only the shooting of an armed man but also the contempt some in that department hold for black men who see them as “bad dudes” even when they drive family SUVs , wear khakis and keep their hands up.
In this video it is a black officer that shoots him, he has something in his hands and moved toward police ignoring demands he drop what was in his hands. We have a video released as a teaser which seems to imply one story while certainly not ruling out another and at the critical moment where it would have and should have cast an unmistakable and definitive light on the seminal moment of the event, it turned away.
I can image the police videos will be released very soon, possibly even before this Sunday’s football games which, as we have all been told, promise to show a consolidation among athletes regarding the San Fran’s quarterback’s silent protest movement in the wake of these two events.
Personally I feel this event is a set-up. All the out of town professional “activists” and agitators going down to Charlotte as opposed to Tulsa is a clue. All the coverage of that event as opposed to the Tulsa shooting is also a clue.
I think after all of this noise, they will release the videos which will show Keith Scott getting out of the vehicle with something black in his hands and refusing to obey police commands and drop whatever that was and that will end up being seen as justification for the shooting because, as they will point out endlessly, he did pose a threat to the officers.
Now that said, I can tell you how to fix the problem with policing today and it isn’t that hard:
- independent investigations into all police shootings
- renew guidelines that used to stipulate officers had to be shot at in order to justify use of deadly force not just “feeling threatened”
- stop telling officers the most important thing for them to do is to “go home” at the end of the day
It doesn’t seem that hard does it? In fact, seems like common sense police “reforms” to me and the only reason I put that in quotation marks is because these guidelines USED to be the law of the land.
You can’t have police departments investigating themselves is these situations or friends of the officer or prosecutors who depend on support of law enforcement in their districts for the advancement of their careers. That seems clear.
It used to be the presence of a gun wasn’t enough to justify shooting a suspect. Shots had to be fired at the officer or at least in his direction in order to justify it, for it to be considered a clean shoot.
And I understand that officers want to be safer in their service to the community but constantly telling them their primary objective every day is to “go home” leaves way too much up to interpretation regarding their duties in the field.
Officers put their lives on the line every day. Forty have been killed by gunfire in the line of duty this year while 788 civilians have been shot to death by cops.
If we take the case of the Tulsa shooting as an example what we find is an officer who fired her weapon out of fear, not aggression. And this is a big issue. Maybe part of that was because she had been told over and over again her main focus was to make sure she went home at the end of the day. Maybe she just tensed up and pulled the trigger by accident. Don’t know.
But if officers understood that a gun HAD to be present in every shooting and that said gun HAD to have been fired in order to justify an imminent threat to law enforcement, maybe Mr. Crutcher would be alive today and if what happened in Charlotte was real, maybe Mr. Scott would be as well.
All that said, I still feel like the movement being represented by people like Colin Kaepernick is being set up for a fall and that this very odd shooting event in Charlotte provided all important cover from what is undoubtedly a real one in Tulsa. I could be wrong. We’ll see what the police videos show. If it’s a “gotcha” moment like I anticipate, then we’ll know.
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