Video of deadly encounter between Charlotte police, Keith Lamont Scott posted online

A video of the deadly encounter between Charlotte police and Keith Lamont Scott was obtained and posted on news websites Friday amid calls from protesters and the man’s family for greater police transparency.

The video, posted on the websites of the New York Times and NBC News, reportedly was recorded by Scott’s wife, Rakeyia, on her cell phone.

Charlotte police chief Kerr Putney has said there is at least one video from a body camera and one other video from a dashboard camera that captured the deadly shooting of the black man by an officer.

But Putney continued Friday to refuse to release the videos, which could resolve wildly different accounts of the shooting of Scott, 43.

“If you think we should display a family’s worst day for public consumption, that is not the transparency we’re speaking of,” Putney said.

Police have said Scott refused repeated commands to drop a gun, while residents say he was unarmed. An attorney for his family, who viewed one of the videos in the police’s possession Thursday, says it’s not clear from the video if he’s holding anything, including a gun.

The 2 1/2 minute video from Rakeyia Scott posted online Friday does not show the shooting, through gunshots can be heard.

“Don’t shoot him. Don’t shoot him, he has no weapon” Rakeyia Scott can be heard saying in the video, while officers, surrounding an SUV in the middle of the street, are heard yelling “Drop the gun!”

As the officers continue to urge Scott to drop any gun, Rakeyia Scott urges Keith to step out of the vehicle.

“Keith don’t let them break the windows. Come on out the car. Keith, don’t do it,” she is heard saying.

Four gunshots are then heard followed by Rakeyia Scott moving closer to the SUV.

“Did you shoot him? He better not be f—— dead” she yells at the officers. “He better live, because he ain’t do nothing to them.”

The footage then shows Keith face down on the street, motionless, surrounded by the officers.

Putney said during a news conference Friday that he cannot release more information about the shooting because his department is not leading the investigation, which is being conducted by the State Bureau of Investigation.

Charlotte Mayor Jennifer Roberts said she believes video of the shooting should be released publicly, but it’s a matter of when.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Chicago Mayor Emanuel unveils 3-part plan to curb bloody violence, pleads for support

NOW PLAYING’Ferguson effect’ to blame for surge in Chicago shootings?

Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel, who’s struggling to repair his tattered image, fought tears and pleaded with neighbors to support the city’s police officers as he unveiled a three-part plan to fight the city’s staggering violent crime and bloodshed.

“We cannot afford to lose another generation to the gangs and to the streets and to the guns and to the violence,” Emanuel said.

Emanuel’s plan is comprised of enforcement, investment and prevention. The controversial mayor struggled to keep his composure as he gave examples of the innocent victims who were shot and killed in recent weeks on the streets of Chicago including a 6-year-old girl who was playing on a stoop and a mother walking her children to sign up for school.

“Every one of us was sickened by the recent murder of Nykea Aldridge while she pushed a baby carriage down the street to register her kids,” Emanuel said. “And what makes it even worse is that her murder might have been prevented if her alleged perpetrators had been given the sentence they deserve for previous crimes.”

The enforcement part of the plan includes adding 970 new police officers to the force, promoting hundreds of police officers familiar with the streets to sergeants and lieutenants, seeking more federal help to assist in crime-fighting and supporting a bill that would ensure repeat gun offenders receive the strongest sentencing. The city released details of its plan the same week backlash erupted over police-involved shootings in Tulsa and Charlotte, where nights of protests led to riots.

Emanuel pleaded for Chicago to support its police.

“While we’re going to add significant resources to our police department, no resource will match the resource of an officer knowing the neighborhood they work in supports their work,” Emanuel said.

The Chicago Police Department has struggled to recruit and keep up with the attrition rate. CPD now has several hundred fewer officers compared to when Emanuel took office.

The mayor admitted Chicago police have to rebuild trust after allegations of racism and a series of videos showing white officers shooting and killing black teens.

“They need your reassurance and they need to know that they have to earn the public’s trust. They don’t get a blank check,” Emanuel said.

For investment, the city plans to require every officer to wear a body camera and carry a Taser. Officials also say they hope to install more gunshot-detecting cameras to the deadliest streets and spend millions providing intense counseling and mentoring to young, vulnerable men and boys who get sucked into gangs.

“Many crimes being committed are by young men with gang affiliations,” Emanuel said. “To have any chance from killing each other and innocents, Chicago must provide an alternative for young men to join gangs.”

For prevention, Emanuel said the city needed to keep guns out of the hands of criminals. The mayor echoed his continued support for a bill that would hold Chicago gun stores accountable for selling to criminals and would also ensure repeat offenders face harsh sentences.

“We need to stop the revolving door for repeat gun offenders. These violent offenders must know that their punishment will match the seriousness of the crimes they committed and the value and the sanctity of the lives they have taken from their fellow family members,” Emanuel said.

In addition to mentoring, the city will provide job opportunities for those who typically don’t have them and will expand its program that encourages and funds the expansion of retail and commercial businesses in abandoned neighborhoods.

Chicago’s crime rate is on pace to reach figures not seen since the crack cocaine wars of the late 1980s. More than three thousand people were shot this year. The murder count has approached 550.

“I go around this city. I see kids today, a look in their eyes, where the vitality, the hope and the purpose has been stolen from them because of the harshness of this city. It has been robbed from them and we cannot avert our eyes as a city any longer,” Emanuel said.

Matt Finn is a Fox News correspondent based in the Chicago bureau. Follow him on Twitter: @MattFinnFNC

Syria conflict: US-Russia plans ‘must be saved’ – Lavrov

Related Topics

Media captionA baby boy is rescued from the rubble in Aleppo after a second day of heavy bombing, as Quentin Sommerville reports

US and Russian plans to end Syria’s conflict must be saved as there is no alternative, Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has told the UN.

He was speaking as the northern city of Aleppo endured a day of relentless air strikes, with the Syrian military determined to retake rebel-held areas.

A seven-day US-Russian brokered truce collapsed on Monday.

Mr Lavrov laid the blame on the US for failing to control the rebel groups it backs.

He said a key condition of the truce was for moderate rebel groups backed by the US to separate themselves from militants.

“Unfortunately the coalition led by the United States, which committed itself to make sure that this separation happens, has not been able to do this,” Mr Lavrov said, although he said his “good friend” Secretary of State John Kerry had indicated this remained the commitment of the United States.

Mr Lavrov said that if the location of militants of the Nusra Front could be pinpointed, he remained convinced a cessation of hostilities and a delivery of humanitarian aid would be possible.

He said it was “now essential to prevent a disruption” of the US-Russia agreements.

Media caption Civil defence volunteer: “Unprecedented targeting” of Aleppo

Mr Lavrov also spoke of a “bleeding Middle East and North Africa”, the result of “arrogant attitudes and feelings of infallibility in pushing unilateral and reckless solutions”.

Mr Kerry said he had met Mr Lavrov earlier in the day and that there was “a little bit of progress” on resolving differences on Syria.

“We’re evaluating some mutual ideas in a constructive way, period,” Mr Kerry said.

But the BBC’s diplomatic correspondent James Robbins in New York says there appears to be little hope of any diplomatic progress and that, with the violence in Syria this week, jaw-jaw has absolutely lost out to war-war.

Air strike aftermath in Aleppo, 23 SeptImage copyrightAFP
Image captionAleppo has endured a day of devastating air strikes
Sergei Lavrov, 23 SeptImage copyrightREUTERS
Image captionMr Lavrov blamed the US for failing to back a key condition of the latest truce

The head of a hospital in the rebel-held east told Reuters news agency that 91 people had been killed in Friday’s bombardment.

In between the raids, White Helmet volunteers frantically searched for those trapped in the rubble of demolished buildings, often with bare hands.

Media captionAmateur footage shows burning buildings in Aleppo

One video showed a screaming girl being pulled out alive, another was of a toddler with no signs of life.

“In many areas, the wounded and sick have nowhere to go at all – they are simply left to die,” said Carlos Francisco, Medecins Sans Frontieres head of mission in Syria.

One White Helmet volunteer reported air strikes as he gave an interview to the BBC World Service.

Another rescue worker described what was happening as “annihilation”.

Unicef said that nearly two million people were again without running water after an attack on a pumping station that served the rebel-held east of the city, and the retaliatory shutdown of a station serving the government-controlled west.

The White Helmets said centres set up to help victims of bombardments were being targeted, and three out of four had been put out of action.

Aleppo and surrounding area map

Islamic State and the crisis in Iraq and Syria in maps

Ammar al-Selmo, the head of civil defence in eastern Aleppo, told Reuters that at least 40 buildings had been destroyed.

Activists said both Syrian and Russian warplanes were taking part in the offensive, though Russia has not confirmed its involvement.

Announcing the new offensive on state television late on Thursday, the Syrian government warned Aleppo residents to “stay away” from “terrorist positions”.

Syrian military sources said a ground offensive would follow.

One told Agence France-Presse that the bombardment “could go on for hours or days before the ground operation starts. The timing of the ground operation will depend on the results of the strikes”.

Syria prepares for ground invasion of Aleppo

Syria’s armed forces have called on civilians in Aleppo to flee rebel-held areas ahead of a ground offensive. The country has witnessed an escalation of violence in the wake of a nationwide “cessation of hostilities.”

Buildings devastated in Aleppo

The Syrian army has launched dozens of airstrikes on rebel-held areas of the northwestern city of Aleppo in preparation for a ground offensive, state media and several news agencies reported on Friday, citing military officials.


Russia’s Syria: No end in sight

In 2015, Russia launched a military campaign in Syria to bolster Assad’s rule. But the conflict is raging with no end in sight.

“With respect to the air or artillery strikes, they may continue for some time depending on the field situation and the terrorists’ losses,” a Syrian military source told Reuters news agency.

“Like any military operation, it starts with preparatory airstrikes and artillery, and then the ground forces work according to the results of the strikes and their impact,” the source added.

The regime in Damascus regularly uses the term “terrorist” to describe all those fighting against the rule of President Bashar al-Assad.

The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a war monitor that uses a nationwide network of informants, reported at least 40 airstrikes since midnight.

Failed ceasefire

The Syrian army on Thursday announced “the start of its operations in the eastern districts of Aleppo,” warning civilians to stay clear of “the headquarters and positions of the armed terrorist gangs.”

The escalation of violence in Syria comes in the wake of a nationwide ceasefire brokered by the US and Russia that collapsed earlier this week. US State Secretary John Kerry called on Moscow and Damascus to halt aerial raids in a bid to salvage the “cessation of hostilities.”

However, the Observatory reported apparent Russian aircraft taking part in airstrikes on Aleppo, Syria’s second city.

Watch video02:05

Syria descends into chaos | DW News

Ammar al-Selmo, the head of the civil defense rescue services in Aleppo, said at least three of its four centers in the city had been hit by aerial bombardment.

“What’s happening now is annihilation in every sense of the word,” al-Selmo told Reuters. “Today, the bombardment is more violent, with a larger number of planes.”

More than 300,000 people in Syria have been killed and half the population displaced since government forces launched a brutal crackdown on peaceful protesters calling for Assad to step down in March 2011.

The international community has failed to provide a viable political solution to the more than five-year conflict, despite repeated efforts to implement nationwide ceasefires and peace talks.

ls/tj (Reuters, AFP, dpa)



UN head: World leaders ‘have blood on their hands’ over Syria conflict

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has opened the annual UN General Assembly with strong words for governments who have “facilitated” violence in Syria. US President Obama also criticized a rise in “crude populism.”

United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon addresses the 71st session of United Nations General Assembly

In his final address as the United Nation’s Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon opened the annual General Assembly on Tuesday by appealing for peace and criticizing the Syrian government for civilian deaths.

“Many groups have killed many innocents – but none more so than the government of Syria, which continues to barrel bomb neighborhoods and systematically torture thousands of detainees,” Ban said.

The UN leader also reprimanded world leaders and representatives gathered in the room for their role in the deadly conflict in Syria.

He noted that “powerful patrons that keep feeding the war machine also have blood on their hands.”

“Present in this hall today are representatives of governments that have ignored, facilitated, funded, participated in or even planned and carried out atrocities inflicted by all sides of the Syria conflict against Syrian civilians,” Ban added in his final address.

The comments come on the heels of the UN and Red Cross’ decision to temporarily halt aid deliveries in Syria after a 31-truck aid convoy was hit by an airstrike on Monday.

Obama’s UN swan song

Watch video01:01

Obama highlights progress achieved by ‘working together’

US President Barack Obama also delivered his final address to the world body on Tuesday. He criticized “crude populism” which has expanded in the US and in Europe, saying those beliefs “fail to recognize our common humanity.”

Although Obama emphasized the positive strides made around the world in terms of safety and the near doubling of democratic governments,he lamented worldwide struggles with the refugee crisis, terrorism, and a deterioration of the situation in the Middle East.

“This is the paradox that defines the world today,” Obama said. “We must go forward, and not backward.”

He also called on all nations to follow through on refugee policies and aid. “We have to do more and open our hearts to refugees who are desperate for a home,” Obama urged.

The outgoing US president also used his speech to criticize call out Russia “for attempting to recover lost glory through force,” as well as calling for diplomatic solutions to the South China Sea dispute.

“In order to move forward though, we do have to acknowledge that the existing path to global integration requires a course correction,” Obama said.

Other world leaders are set to speak on Tuesday during the first day of the 71st annual General Assembly, including French President Francois Hollande, British Prime Minister Theresa May and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

rs/ (AP, AFP, dpa, Reuters)



Opinion: The UN is helpless in the new world order

The fight over who bombed an aid convoy in Syria shows that the UN doesn’t have an effective strategy for helping people in war-torn areas. Germany may be able to play an increasingly important role, writes Ines Pohl.

Syrien Angriff auf Hilfskonvoi

The United Nations is at its wits’ end. The organization’s structures have proven themselves to be outdated. They no longer function in a world where conflicts don’t happen along borders anymore, where it’s not about ideological domination or winning new territory. With the verbal attacks by US Secretary of State John Kerry against his Russian counterpart, Sergey Lavrov, the world now has video evidence: the bureaucratic mega-agency has no idea how it can help the Syrian people.

The bombing of an aid convoy that should have brought relief to thousands of people is the dreadful proof that all the negotiating and political wrangling has been in vain. People are still dying – day and night. They are dying now, as you read this sentence.

Experiences from the Second World War

When the UN was established in 1945, the world was quite a different place. The experiences of the Second World War were fresh in people’s minds. Global political structures were created to avoid repeating such a catastrophic event.

DW Mitarbeiterin Ines PohlDW’s Ines Pohl

The five permanent members of the Security Council were given the power to veto decisions in order prevent any single superpower from becoming too strong. Important economic powers of today, such as Brazil and India, didn’t get much of a say on anything. Post-war Germany didn’t even join the UN until 1973.

The central structure of the UN has changed very little. It is still possible for a country such as Russia, China or even the US to simply veto any majority resolution it doesn’t like. This also affects the selection process for the position of UN secretary-general. And this structure also prevents a candidate from being chosen who might have a clear and bold vision to lead the organization. In the end, they have to settle for someone who is prepared to take a middle road and keep everyone happy and who will avoid taking a stance on any difficult topics.

Too little strength to change

In a world of terrorism, with countries and political structures disintegrating, the UN is more important than ever. Yet the agency appears to have neither the courage nor the strength to renew itself in order to face such challenges. This is in part because the victorious powers of the Second World War refuse to accept that they alone cannot solve conflicts such as the one in Syria. They must relinquish some of their power in order for the UN General Assembly to actually become a powerful instrument for furthering understanding among nations.

Syrien Krieg - Kämpfe in Aleppo - Mann mit KindDespite numerous attempts to negotiate peace, Syrians continue to suffer

With relations between Russia and the US becoming ever frostier, any large-scale UN reform is unlikely to be on the agenda. It is ironic that this has happened under the watch of a US president such as Barack Obama, who himself recognized early on that the current ideological struggles cannot be won without accepting a new world order.

Germany’s role increasing in importance

In the middle of this seeming stalemate, Germany has announced its candidacy for a non-permanent member seat on the UN Security Council for a two-year term beginning in 2019. Its chances of being selected are not bad. At least in the Ukraine conflict, Berlin showed that it is in a position to be able to mediate between different camps. Insiders who have not entirely given up hope say that Germany, as the fourth-largest financial contributor, may someday advance to become a permanent Security Council member.

But would this really help? In the end you have to remind yourself that at least it’s better if politicians are screaming at each other than if they refuse to talk to each other at all, letting weapons do the talking instead.

And last but not least, this UN General Assembly shows once again that Germany must also act in its own interests on the world stage. For the conflict in Syria is brutal evidence that today even faraway wars will at some stage end up on your own doorstep.

Would you like to add your comments? You can do so below. The thread stays open for 24 hours after publication.


Tensions simmer in North Carolina after three nights of protests

Tensions simmer in North Carolina as police refuse to release a video of the deadly shooting of an unarmed black man. The video was shown to the victim’s family and they, again, called on police to make the video public.

Protesters in Charlotte, North Carolina, including one with a placard that reads: Stop killing us

A third night of protests against the fatal police shooting of a black man in Charlotte, North Carolina, were relatively peaceful after two violent nights of demonstrations that resulted in one person being shot dead by a civilian, nine people suffering injuries and 44 being arrested as the demonstrations morphed into riots on Wednesday and Thursday morning.

There was also widespread looting and vandalism – all of which compelled the mayor to declare an overnight curfew.

Watch video01:28

Violent anti-police protests in North Carolina

The upheaval was sparked Tuesday afternoon when a black police officer shot and killed 43-year-old Keith Scott in a parking lot. Violent protests ensued Tuesday and Wednesday nights, prompting the governor of North Carolina, Pat McCrory, to declare a state of emergency, while Charlotte Mayor Jennifer Roberts announced a curfew from midnight to 6 am.

Police, however, allowed the demonstration to extend past midnight as long as the crowd remained peaceful, which it did.

Scott became the 214th black person killed by police in the US this year. All told, police have killed 821 people this year, according to the group Mapping Police Violence, which was born out of the ongoing protest movement.

Watch video00:39

Daughter mourns Scott’s death in live video

The federal government doesn’t track national-level police shootings, but Scott’s death has, again, provoked widespread outrage and exasperation over police killings of unarmed civilians.

Gun or no gun

Police have maintained that Scott was holding a gun when he was shot, a claim his family denies. Scott’s shooting was videotaped by police, but authorities have so far refused to make the video public. They have shown the video to Scott’s family, which renewed calls for the video to be released.

“There’s nothing in that video that shows him acting aggressively, threatening or maybe dangerous,” said Justin Bamberg, one of the lawyers representing the family.

US Congressman Robert Pittenger, from North Carolina, exacerbated tensions further on Thursday when he told the BBC that black protesters were motivated by economic jealousy of whites.

Watch video00:44

Police shot dead at Dallas rally

“They hate white people because white people are successful and they’re not,” Pittenger said during a televised interview.

He later apologized on Twitter, saying, “What is taking place in my hometown breaks my heart. Today, my anguish led me to respond to a reporter’s question in a way that I regret.”

Meanwhile, in Tulsa, Oklahoma – 1,000 miles (1,600 km) west of Charlotte – a white female police officer has been charged with first-degree manslaughter in the deadly shooting of black motorist Terence Crutcher last week.

Police in Tulsa released that video, which shows an unarmed Crutcher walking back to his disabled vehicle in the middle of the road. The officer, Betty Shelby, faces a minimum of four years in prison if convicted.

bik/jil (Reuters, AFP, AP)



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