WASHINGTON, Sept. 22 (Xinhua) -- The police in the U.S. city of Charlotte, North Carolina, said Thursday they would not release the video of a fatal shooting to the public, despite two days of violence in the city.
Kerr Putney, chief of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department, told a news conference in Charlotte that he has no intention of releasing the dashcam video of the fatal shooting of Keith Lamont Scott, a 43-year-old black man, by a police officer Tuesday afternoon.
Putney said that it would be inappropriate to present footage of "a victim's worst day" for public consumption.
But he said he was working to honor the Scott family's request to watch the video. This could help resolve the dispute between the police and Scott's family on whether Scott was armed with a gun when the shooting occurred.
The police alleged that officer Brentley Vinson, also an African American, shot and killed Scott at an apartment complex Tuesday afternoon while searching for someone with an outstanding warrant because Scott was holding a gun when he exited his car.
But Scott's family rejected the claim, saying that Scott was holding a book instead of a gun.
Charlotte Mayor Jennifer Roberts told the media Thursday that there was no time frame for releasing the camera footage of the fatal shooting.
Releasing the video "depends on the investigation and its progress, and it depends on the discretion of the (police) chief to some extent," she said.
The killing of Scott has sparked two nights of violent protests in Charlotte since Tuesday, where rioters clashed with riot police, smashed windows, vandalized cars, and assaulted innocent people and journalists.
So far 17 police officers and nine civilians have been wounded in the unrest, and 44 arrests have been made by the police.
A state of emergency was declared in Charlotte Wednesday night by North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory, who ordered the deployment of the state's National Guard and State Highway Patrol to assist with local law enforcement forces to restore the order in the city.
District Attorney Andrew Murray, the chief state prosecutor in Charlotte, said in a statement Thursday that he was asking for a state investigation into the shooting as requested by Scott's family.
Reykia Scott, Scott's wife, released a statement Thursday, urging protesters to be peaceful. She said she understands people's frustrations, but hurting people or damaging property is not the answer.
The latest riots and violence once again highlight the tense racial relations in the U.S. between the police and African Americans, who have long complained about racial discrimination and the racial profiling by police that often lead to the police killing of innocent black people.