Chief Putney Defends Decision to Delay Releasing Keith Scott Video

CHARLOTTE, NC — Chief Putney is defending his decision to release police video four days after the deadly, officer-involved shooting of Keith Scott. Putney also says there’s a misconception in the public on the body cam law going into effect October 1.

“There’s nothing really that we could have prevented with a faster release,” said Chief Putney. “And I’m going to do things right, not fast.”

Despite public backlash and calls for his resignation, Chief Putney stands by what video they released of the Keith Scott shooting and when. Over the phone, Scott family attorney Charles Monnett said he doesn’t think Putney would have released the video if Scott’s wife didn’t release her cell phone video first. Putney says they were ready to release the video two days after the shooting, but the the family’s actions delayed it two more days.

“During that time the family requested that the SBI do an independent investigation,” said Putney. “Therefore I couldn’t release it, because it would impact their investigation.”

Starting October 1st, House Bill 972 won’t allow police to release body and dash cam video to the public, like just released in the Scott shooting, without having a court rule on it. But Putney says that doesn’t include victims and their family.

“Legally I still have that authority,” said Chief Putney. “Legally that’s exactly what I’m going to do. What I’m doing here is setting a precedent moving forward. I will not be able to release it to that extent publicly, but the family still gets to see it.”

Putney says he realizes there’s a lot of work to do to mend trust in the community.

“We got to talk about race, and our people are willing to hit that head-on. We’re doing a lot of education, introspection on that topic. We’re not going to act like we don’t bring a racist history with us. We know that.”