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tv   MSNBC Live With Tamron Hall  MSNBC  November 30, 2016 8:00am-9:01am PST

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he yells gun gun to his fellow officers. in his interview with investigators, miranda said scott looked at him and then pulled the gun out of the ankle holster. officer miranda began yelling drop the gun, drop the gun. officer hostletter, he's the officer in uniform, ran to the suv -- in the regular uniform -- ran to the suv and tried to break the passenger side window with a baton. as he did this, he reported seeing mr. scott holding a gun in his right hand as he was seated in the suv. after officer hostletter broke the window, officer miranda said he saw mr. scott take a deep breath and exit the suv. officers vincent, hostletter, wig gins and sergeant pendergrah
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all saw the gun in mr. scott's hand after exiting the vehicle. however, as everyone here is aware, none of the video recordings, the dash cam, the body worn camera or mrs. scott's cell phone video, clearly captured mr. scott's hands. what is clearly captured on video is mr. scott's right ankle. when he exits the suv, you can see that his right pant leg is pulled up above the ankle. this is the same spot where you can see a bulge in his pant leg in the convenience store surveillance footage. and the same place on his ankle where police recovered a holster following the shooting. here, the bulge. here, the ankle.
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in line with officer miranda who indicates he reached down and pulled it out. you see what indicates to be a holster and nothing to left and right. also captured on all videos are the repeated commands from officers for mr. scott to drop the gun. based on the dash cam video footage and mrs. scott's video, officers can be heard at least ten times commanding mr. scott to drop the gun. the videos also show that mr. scott did not comply with those commands. in interviews, officers describe mr. scott's behavior during this incident. those descriptions included that he had a blank stare. as if he was in a trance-like state. consistent with the known side effects of the prescription prescribed to mr. scott. additional side effects are
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behavior aal abnormalities. i'll show you a picture of where he was in proximity to mr. scott when he exited the vehicle. this is from the body worn camera of officer hostletter from the rearview window. officer here. the suv. mr. scott. the police van comes up and pins. mr. scott here. in close proximity across the car. there's been some speculation in the community -- i'm sorry. officer vincent could see that mr. scott continued to not comply with commands. in his interview, he described the moment he perceived that mr. scott posed an imminent
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threat. mr. scott looked at vincent, then looked in the direction of each officer and then looked back at vincent. i'm going to play for you officer vincent's interview. this portion.
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>> so at this point, i'm going to take you through. officer vinson did not know officer scott. none of the officers knew mr. scott. none of them had had contact with mr. scott. but what did officer vinson know? was aware that mr. scott had a gun in his vehicle. he was aware that he had marijuana in his vehicle. he was aware that when he pinned
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the car, that mr. scott chose to draw that weapon and have it in his hand. he was aware that after repeated commands, mr. scott did not obey those commands, acting with be an betterant behavior. steps out of the vehicle with gun in hand. doesn't run. doesn't drop the gun. doesn't leave the gun in the car. but steps out and steps back. assessing each officer. with a trance-like look described by officer vinson. now, how about mr. scott at that point.
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officer vinson did not know mr. scott, had not seen him. so unbeknownst to him, mr. scott was aware that he was a convicted felon with a gun, an illegal gun, and that he had warrants out for him in gaston county, and that he had police officers in tactical gear, weapons drawn, vournding his vehicle. it's at this point that officer vinson fired his weapon four times, striking mr. scott in the wrist, abdomen and rear shoulder. despite officer's and medical personnel's taiattempts to rend aid, mr. scott unfortunately passed away. i'm going to show you a medical examiner -- what the medical examiner did for us, and that is a -- what's a correct term, silhouette. a mannequin.
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a mannequin. where the m.e. put the trajectory of the bullets. now, we know there were four shots because you hear four shots in rapid succession on the video. we also know because officer vinson says that he fired. we also know it because there are four shell casings that are around the proximity to officer vinson. the medical examiner could not tell us the sequence of the projectiles. one in the wrist we don't show. one in the wrist is not what we call a clear through and through. because they are pieces of the bullet in the wrist. the one in the abdomen goes into the abdomen, in the left side,
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travels through and comes to rest at the spine. at the lower lumbar. the one in the upper shoulder traveled from left to right. and front to back. begins at the shoulder, 7 inches from the midline of the back, traveled down, through and ends up at the abdomen at the front part. so there's been much speculation as the first shot being a shot in the back. the totality of the evidence does not come close to supporting that. the medical examiner can't say the sequence of the shootings, but if you look at where officer vinson was located and then you look at the video, we conclude that one of the shots before the
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shot in the shoulder was to the abdomen. causing mr. scott to keel over. causing a shot after to go through the shoulder and the trajectory ends up in the front of the abdomen. there's been some speculation in the community regarding whether mr. scott was armed. i'd like to address those specific concerns. all of the credible and available evidence suggests that he was, in fact, armed. here's the evidence that leads us to that conclusion. prior to my action being taken, prior to any action being taken, officer vincent told sergeant pendergraph he saw mr. scott with a gun and sergeant pendergraph relayed that information over the radio. that's the radio traffic you heard a few minutes ago. every officer present reported seeing mr. scott holding a gun.
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officers can be heard repeatedly commanding mr. scott to drop the gun. the idea that mr. scott was unarmed does not explain why officers acted defensively, had their guns drawn and ordered him to drop the gun. everyone who has seen the video of the incident can feel the tension in that situation. according to officer wiggins, after mr. scott was shot, he fell to the ground and his gun landed near his waistline. officer wiggins said he moved the gun away from mr. scott and stood over the gun to ensure it could not be accessed by mr. scott. on the dash cam video, on the dash camera, an officer hostutler's body cam, officer wiggins is seen crouching down and moving something from mr. scott. you do not see the ground, you see officer wiggins crouched down. his arm moved. he stepped back. and then stand there.
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kind of unusually. other people start tending to mr. scott. he is standing there awkwardly. mr. scott's video, you can see an object -- in mrs. scott's video, you can see an object between his face in the same place we see the firearm in body worn camera foot only from another officer that responded to the scene just after the shooting. he stands there. you can see something. you don't know what it is. an officer comes up immediately who immediately afterwards with body cam. he is going -- the officers tell hip, clear the car. you can see him going to the cars to look to make sure there's nobody else in it. the cars are clear. in his body cam, it's clearly depicted officer standing over the gun. mr. scott's dna was found on the slide of the gun and on the grip
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of the gun. let me say that again. his dna was found on the slide of the gun and on the grip of the gun. when it was examined by police crime lab. however, the state crime lab did not find that print to be of value. meaning they did not find it significant enough to be able to say if it was mr. scott's. now, there's a reason for that. charlotte police department uses a certain technology. they use that technology. they made the determination. when they send it to the state bureau of investigation. they send a disc along with a card that is a lower resolution card. the state bureau of investigation has different technology. it's like you sending me something to open on some great program you have and i don't have it, i can't open it.
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so sbi had to look at the lower resolution and they found they could not make a determination based on that. mr. scott's gun, a colt .380 semiautomatic was recovered at the scene. it had one round at the chamber. the safety was off. the gun was cocked. there's the gun. safety off. cocked and later found a bullet live in the chamber. investigators traced mr. scott's gun, which was stolen from a gaston county home and illegally sold to mr. scott on september 2nd. the seller admitted he sold the gun to mr. scott in a facebook conversation between the seller and a third party corroborates this information. basically the seller saw what we
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all saw on the video of the incident that was being displayed and said, i know that guy and i know that gun. i'm now going to show you excerpts from that conversation. he's talking to a third party, talking about what he saw on the tv. through the reports that will be released today, you will be able to read the entire conversation between the seller and the third party. i will never sell another one. the hammer's cocked back. that's the seller. he had an ankle holster. i hoped he wiped my prints off of it. third party, shit, me too. i can get time for that and they would burn me. third party, i was really hoping it wouldn't be the one, but you know, i'm going to pray for the best on you for that, cous.
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ty. i've learned means thank you. i'm still hurt. i feel like it's my fault he is dead. the seller also revealed he sold a holster to mr. scott with modifications that matched those found on the holster mr. scott was wearing. here's the holster. he said he sold the holster. he said he modified in. when he was shown the holster, he say, oh, yeah, that's the cuts i made to make sure the gun would fit. the seller went to dander mountain with mr. scott on the same day he sold it where mr. scott purchased a magazine and ammunition for the firearm. agents located a computer transaction receipt for the magazine and ammunition and the purchase was made with a debit card ending in the numbers that matched the debit card found in mr. scott's wallet. text messages from mr. scott's
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phone showed that on september 10th, he and the seller communicated about returning or exchanging a clip at gander mountain because the one he purchased was too short. it wasn't working in the gun. if you see the gun, it doesn't have a clip in it. .380 ammunition was located in mr. scott's vehicle inside a pack of cigarettes in the center console cup holder. in the center console, pack of cigarettes, this is them going through the vehicle where you can see the broken glass. live rounds, .380, to fit the gun. a reading book was not found in the front or back seats of mr. scott's suv. a composition notebook belonging to mrs. scott was found wedged between the center console and the front passenger seat. it did not match the description
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given by witnesses who claim that they saw mr. scott with a book. i'd like to address erroneous claims that someone other than officer vinson shot mr. scott. first, officer vinson took responsibility for the shooting from the outset. every officer's gun was seized and ammunition was, ammunition count was done by investigators. each one had the full complement of ammunition with the exception of vinson who was four rounds short of a full compliment. in the vidos, the sound of four shots were clearly heard and four shell casings were recovered at the scene. each officer is issued a firearm with a unique serial number. officer vinson's gun as well as the four shell casings were sent to the lab for analysis. expert firearm analyst found the
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four shell casings were fired from officer vinson's gun. nine civilian witnesses were interviewed by investigators. some of these witnesses gave conflicting statements as well as statements that are unsupported by video or physical evidence. three of these witnesses claimed on social media or in media interviews that scott was unarmed. but the sbi later determined they had not actually seen the shooting. they they were interviewed by sbi later, they said they did not see the shootings despite their claims on social media or with the media. one told reporters that she was an eyewitness and saw a white officer shoot mr. scott and that officer vinson wasn't around at the time of the shooting. she later acknowledged to the sbi she heard officers telling mr. scott to drop the gun but she didn't see the shooting. another told reporters she saw mr. scott with his hands raised, step over a book that fell from
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his lap. those statements are refuted by the video evidence. and she later told the sbi she was in her apartment at the time of the shooting and didn't see mr. scott until aer the shooting had occurred and she never saw a book or a gun. a juvenile under the age of 16 told investigators that he saw the incident from his apartment. he initially told charlotte n k mecklenburg police department. he said mr. scott put the book down and exited the suv, empty-handed, with his hands wide open. in a later interview with sbi, he shared that information again and added that officers said they were going to tase mr. scott and he was actually tased by police. he also said the officer did not say anything to mr. scott when he exited his vehicle and that a white officer shot him. the physical evidence does not
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support those claims and when questioned on some of these issues, this witness referenced someone's claim in a youtube video and it became apparent he incorporated information he heard from other sources. investigators also went to his home to examine his vantage point. and what they discovered is it would have been very difficult if not impossible to make those observations due to the obstruction of a tree and the positioning of mr. scott's suv. basically from his apartment, there's a tree and there's the passenger side of mr. scott's vehicle. he would have to see through the tree and through the passenger side to see anything occurring on the other side of the vehicle. two witnesses said they were inside a nearby home and watched the incident unfold. they heard the officer's commands to drop the gun. both indicated they saw something in mr. scott's hand. but they could not identify the object. they had a view but because of
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their distance, they say that he had something in his hand but they can't say what was in his hand. another witness was working in the area, heard the officer shouts, but had turned away when the shots were fired. now, mrs. scott has maintained that her husband was unarmed during the encounter. it's important to understand that we must consider her statements and weigh them along with all of the other evidence in this case. charlotte mecklenburg detectives began to interview mrs. scott at the hospital on the evening of the shooting. but she ultimately terminated that interview on the advice of her attorney. she and her attorneys later publicly claimed that cmpd never attempted to interview her. before that interview ended, she told cmpd that four white
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officers were present. all four fired their weapons. and there were no black officer present. the brief interview was captured on a body worn camera. later in the interview with cbs news, she stated that officer vinson who is black, was present but she did not believe he shot mrs. scott, or she did not believe he shot her husband, mr. scott, because he was not part of the action. mrs. scott did later meet with the sbi for an interview and she provided valuable information about her husband's medications and their effects. she said that mr. scott had just taken his medicine and those prescriptions make him zoned. mrs. scott has maintained in interviews with investigators and the media mr. scott did not have a gun. she told the sbi that the last time she ever knew scott to have
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any type of firearm was prior to his wreck in october of 2015 and that she was certain he did not have any guns after january of 2016. however, text messages between mr. and mrs. scott the month before the shooting include an argument about a gun in mr. scott's possession. in the report that we're putting online, you'll find limited information regardin mr. scott's background and medical history. while he had a criminal history and was receiving treatment for psychiatric disorders, his history was unknown to officer vinson. in this case, it would be merely speculative to assess whether this history explained mr. scott's conduct on the day of the incident. in conclusion, after a thorough
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review and given the totality of the circumstances and credible evidence in this case, it is my opinion that officer vinson acted lawfully when he shot mr. scott. he acted lawfully. i am fully satisfied and entirely convinced that officer vinson's use of deadly force was lawful. the central issue here is whether officer vinson was lawful in using deadly force against mr. scott. anyone is justified in using deadly force if he reasonably believed and, in fact, believed, that he or someone else was in imminent danger of great bodily danger or death. we cannot know what mr. scott's intentions or reasonings were that day and officer vinson could not know that at the time. what he saw was a man who had drawn a gun. when confronted by police. exited the vehicle with the gun in hand. and failed to comply with officers who commanded hip at least ten times to put the gun
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down. when considering imminent threat, it's important to consider the science and response time and reaction time. the reality is mr. scott could have raised his gun and killed officer vinson or any officer before any of them could have reacted to the threat. reaction time studies dealing with police shootings provide valuable insight for the analysis of this shooting. and these studies are cited in the report. those studies show in these scenarios, the result is a tie at best. even officers in a position of ready watching somebody, if they're armed with a gun to their side, from the time they did this, the reaction from officers has to be from the brain to the trigger finger and the studies say it is tied at best. when considering -- oh, i'm sorry, i think there's a misconception out there about the scope of the review at the d.a.'s office. this office does not examine whether an officer followed cmpd
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directives or policies or whether an incident was handled appropriately from a tactical standpoint. in this case the only determination this office is making is whether or not officer vincent acted in self-defense. now i'd like to speak to the community. i know that some out there are going to be frustrated. i want everyone in this community to know that we meticulously, thoroughly, reviewed all of the evidence in this case. made sure it was credible evidence. in order to make the decision we made today.
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we took a lot of painstaking effort to make certain there was no personal bias in the review. public opinion did not factor in our determination. i'd like the community to take a collective pause. please could not act viscerally on news snippets. in this case, my office unfortunately find ourselves in a position of correcting this information that has been shared both on social media and in the news media. people made claims on camera but later admitted to law enforcement that they didn't actually see the incident. people in the public ask
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themselves why didn't you release more information to refute these untrue statements. i always asserted my office would strive towards transparency but i need people to understand among my highest priorities is also protecting the integrity of every investigation. that means responsible transparenc transparency. details are closely guarded to help measure the truthfulness of witnesses and should someone be charged, preserve the defendant's right to fair trial. i know a lack of accurate information is frustrating to the public and the media that operates on a 24-hour news cycle. but in this age of instant media and the impulse to immediately form an opinion, i'm asking we
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should not jump to conclusions until we have all of the facts. we watched as long-simmering frustrations boiled over. i heard observers say this is not charlotte. this is not the city that we love. but it is. this is charlotte. this is where our friends, families, neighbors and colleagues felt so passionate that they marched on our street to call forchange. let me be clear. i have not and will not condone violence or property damage as a means of expression. but the fact that criminal charges are not appropriate under the law in this particular case does not mean we can dismiss the concerns expressed by those who raise their voices to raise the consciousness of this community. i think it's high time that all of us recognize that this is charlotte and not everyone
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experiences the same charlotte. throughout our entire justice system, people should have the same experience. the people mecklenburg county deserve the confidence that every case is handled with fairness. i want this community to know i would not hesitate to prosecute an officer whom evidence showed acted outside of the law. and, in fact, we have. from assault to dwis to fraud to unfortunately sexual offenses. we have prosecuted officers. it is my sincere prayer that no one is ever killed by police. but i also pray that police are never placed in a position of having to make the decision to use lethal force to protect themselves or innocent lives around them. i welcome being part of the ongoing public discussion and exchange of ideas on how to improve our system so all
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community members have complete confident they will be dealt with fairly and treated with respect. justice demands nothing less. at this time, i'll take questions. [ inaudible ] >> -- specific time mr. scott -- >> we do. i will just tell you he was taken his significant number of drugs and they were for -- some of them -- somewhat mind altering. >> did mr. scott actually raise the gun? >> he did not raise the gun to our knowledge based on the video, any evidence from any statements of officers. >> yes, sir. [ inaudible ] >> -- accept what you say, the facts and that's -- why did it take so long to get the facts?
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you have folks out there upset. i accept facts. i will take that back to my flock. had ya'll came forward with this information -- [ inaudible ] the truth shall set you free. they was hearing other evidence that this man didn't have a book but you know he had a gun. why we couldn't come earlier -- >> sir, as i stated, i appreciate the question, an investigation has to unfold. when video gets out, individuals can comport and in this case did what they say they saw to a video. the investigation, what i'd ask is your community, your church, this entire community, to please just wait for the investigation.
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it takes a while. you have to get investigation, you have to get analysis of the gun. the police did a good job in going out and finding where did that gun come from, where was it located. all that investigation has to come to us. and then we have to evaluate. in this case, there were 63 sbi agents called in from around the state to do the investigation. with over 2,300 hours of their time to do this investigation. that's a quarter of the entire sbi. that's how important this case was. that's the -- but that doesn't happen overnight. so that's why i'm asking the community to take a collective pause. next question. >> you said he did not raise the gun. he had a wild look in his eye. based on the medication. and it's difficult to hear the officer but it sounds as though the bottom line what you're saying because he had the gun in his hand, he had a zoned-out look in his eye, the decision was made to shoot because they
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didn't know what he was going to do. >> it's a justified shooting based on the totality the circumstances. the gun, the gun that he goes -- when officers comes, he draws the gun. he doesn't keep it in his holster. he draws the gun. he's told numerous times to drop the gun. he then gets out and doesn't turn to run away from officers. he turns toward them with the look. i don't know if it's from medication. i don't know if it's the look. but assessing, looking at each and then focus his fact on officer vinson. our determination is that at that time his belief was reasonable that he was in imminent threat death or the death of his fellow officers and that's -- he was justified in shooting. >> -- any medical experts talk to you about that drug and what that -- >> investigators did talk to medical experts. really, the medical has nothing to do with the analysis since mr. vinson -- officer vinson or
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none of the officers knew about the medical. so it's the scene and what occurs. it's that split second. and everything surrounding that decision. >> the officer said he saw marijuana and that seems to have been one of the reasons they approached him in the first place. why was there no test in the toxicology report for marijuana? >> first of all, the blunt was tested. it was marijuana. the bottle that -- the prescription bottle or the empty yellow bottle had residue that was marijuana. and later a test was done and mr. scott did test positive for recent consumption of marijuana -- >> where it that information? it's not in the toxicology -- >> it was not in the toxicology report. sbi asked for it late and it cape after the toxicology report. >> can you tell us more about the conversation this morning with the family and how they reacted? >> the family was extremely gracious. we were there with their attorneys. they wanted us to go through the facts of the case.
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the evidence. we started with the presentation basically that i'm providing you. and they -- initially they had a few questions. but then they just said, well, let's not interrupt. you go through what you say and we'll go back and ask questions. it was a difficult conversation for everybody. but we went through the evidence. they understood our position. and it lasted a little over an hour. and they were gracious. the family was extremely gracious. >> did they seem to accept the decision? >> they didn't say whether they accepted it or not. they had attorneys with them. they just were very gracious in their discussions with us. >> we lost our contact with the news conference happening right now in charlotte mecklenburg. we've learned from the district attorney there andrew murray the decision has been made not to charge the officer bentley vinson in the death of keith lamont scott who was shot three times and killed september 20th
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this past year in charlotte, north carolina. a very detailed list of information laid out as to why the district attorney reached this or how he reached this conclusion. msnbc chief legal correspondent ari melber joins me. we've been taking notes on this. starting out with the district attorney saying that mr. scott was armed. that in the video, what is shown at a convenience store, this dark circle, if you will, at the bottom of his leg, and what we were told happened at the crime scene itself, indicated there was a gun with a holster. they've traced back the purchase history they say of this particular weapon that was apparently stolen from someone's home and sold eventually to mr. scott. the d.a. says this was the weapon. the officer who fired saw and felt his life was in danger. as he put it, tie at best if someone is armed and facing a
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law enforcement personnel. interesting way to describe it. what stands out to you legally? >> i think what stabs out here is you had a case where the policing was not ideal. i don't think that you could defend this as ideal police work because of the way they converged on the car. because of the perception caught on multiple vehicles, both police video and citizen video that there was an escalation. not ideal or negative police work doesn't mean it's criminal. that is what the d.a. is investigating. so what you saw in that presentation, viewerses would have been forgiven for thinking that mr. scott was on trial. although he is the deceased in this situation. we've seen this pattern play out before. where there's a tremendous amount of incriminating information offered by the d.a.s to justify why the shooting took place. k the bottom line, though, is the legal justification offered in the d.a.'s view was there was a gun on the scene. the gun they believe was either
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about to be used as a threat or reasonably provided the kind of threat they had to preempt or respond to, hence the language about the tie. and then officer vinson in the words of the d.a., according to their investigation, offered lawfully to use that deadly force. the other thing i would note that's a little criticism is we saw a fair amount of information outside of the live scene, outside the four corners. while we wouldn't want investigators to look at that, it would not justify the use of deadly force because obviously these officers weren't at the convenience store. they weren't looking at that surveillance video. this is all monday morning quarterbacking. >> that's all to paint the picture of what the district attorney here wants. you have a d.a. reminding the community of the importance of unity, saying directly to the members of the community that he would have no issue filing charges or bringing an officer to trial, that he noted there had been other cases involving officers from rape and even fraud where he was willing to
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bring a person in a blue uniform in front of the courts. but with that said, to your point, ari, hereby we are goin through surveillance video of mr. scott before his officers. we don't know very much about what the officers were doing before their interaction with mr. scott. the point is, they were there seveni ing serving a warrant on someone else. we're being told they noticed mr. scott rolling a marijuana cigarette and then it starts to escalate from there. from a decision not to be bothered with a minor offense because they're not there for that reason, to somehow being in this confrontation with this man whose physical demeanor -- now we know he was medicated for a number of years related to some type of accident, and that medicine was found in his system, the toxicology report also showed marijuana, but this idea he had a crazed look, that's very similar to what we heard in the shooting incident in oklahoma.
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that's still being investigated. that this officer faced off with a person who had a quote/unquote crazed look. >> right. and people watching at home may sit and think, well, that's odd, do you get to shoot or kill someone because of your subjective judgment of how they look. >> the look in their eyes. >> correct, and how that might overlap with other types of concerns or biases out there. the legal standard is not subjective. it's supposed to be what a reasonable officer would apprehend or fear in that situation. your point about what led to this confrontation is important because this is the united states. the fact that someone might have a gun holster or a gun in their car does not mean that they are automatically according to a plain viewing of that breaking the law. marijuana being generally possession, minor, nonviolent offense. while it's not all captured on video, his view of the totality, that's sort of legal jargon
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here, the whole thing, this was an individual who got out of the car who got out of the car, who unholdsterred it. the other thing i would add. you know, that video does show the audio, does show the officers saying multiple times, over eight timines at our count he referred to ten, repeatedly, drop the gun, drop the gun. the gun is not dropped. then the question facing the officers is not being dropped because someone is resisting or is it not being dropped for some other reason. miscommunication, misunderstanding. >> we hear his wife in the background saying keith, don't do it. it also goes -- this is i think what people grapple with when it comes to deadly force. we know these officers put their lives on the line every single day and face that difficult decision. but when you -- a situation like this, ari, you've seen the response, people wondering aloud how the individual who allegedly
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put the bombs in chelsea neighborhood in manhattan, he gets into a gun battle if you will with officers right after that incident and is not killed. he's injured. critically. but he is not killed. while surrounded. here in this situation that clearly escalated fast, you have several other officers around, maybe not so close to this individual who don't fire. and an officer here who feels that he has to use lethal force. >> right. a lot of this goes to what is the noncriminal piece of it. which is this could be terrible police work. this could be a fireable offense. this could be a matter for disciplinary review. even if the d.a. doesn't find it was a crime. that it was an unlawful killing. that it was a second degree murder. and so part of the defense in this comes through, you know, at many times to my ear what you heard the d.a. saying was this is one sided. here was this quote/unquote, you
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know, felonious individual who had to be dealt with and here's why everything the police did was right. the reality may be more mixed even if you don't find criminal wrongdoing. >> the reality may be more mixed. this, again, proves that body caps, and they can be on every individual around, don't fill in all of the holes. that it turns out to still be be a mix of investigation and what you see or don't see on the body cam. >> that's right. that's the other issue. people will recall this. i say people can disagree about this. that's why we have these debates. there is no disagreement that the local authorities, as i reported, as we reported at the time, mishandled the video evidence. they claimed they had a policy not to release it. then only when pressed by citizen video and protest did they suddenly say, we can release it. that, separate from the underlying facts, that of course leads to confusion in the community. because you say, well, is there a standard or not? is this just people or government bureaucrats trying to
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avoid getting in hot water. i will say the regions that have come up with a policy to release all video have done better and that's -- >> all right, thank you, from the legal side. let's go to gabe gutierrez for the community reaction. one of the first questions there, i'm not sure if that gentleman was a member of the community or the media but to ari's point, it's about the delays, the delay in releasing the information, saying that the state would not and then eventually only releasing what we saw after citizen video. just the length of this investigation wore on this community. >> yes, exactly right, tamron. i want to mention the charlotte police is on alert. they're working 12-hour shifts in case any violence, demonstrations were to break out after the announcement of this decision. in addition to that, in addition to the questions about the video, we should note, yes, the body camera video did not tell the whole story. we had three major vantage
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points. body cam video, police dash cam video and of course video released by scott, keith lamont scott's wife. the best vantage point was the dash cam video. the body cam footage didn't tell the whole story. the officer we did get the best view from the body cam footage, he actually turned it on after the shooting. the reason we saw a couple of seconds before that is because of the buffer feature on that body camera that was able to turn on. and that's why we were able to see 20 seconds before. there's questions about whether that did or did not follow policy. the district attorney said he wasn't there to decide on that. he was there to decide whether the officer acted lawfully and in this case he said he did. i want to go back to something else. we also learned a lot from this news conference and something that fuelled that anger, that ld to that two nights of rioting.
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a lot of the things we in the media heard and also played out on social media. the district attorney went point by point and tried to refute several of those things that had come out on social media. number one, we had heard several witnesses say that keith lamont scott was unarmed. again, the district attorney says that was not the case. there was some question. in the video, you saw some sort of fuzzy object. there was a question whether it was a gun, whether it was not. the attorneys for keith lamont scott never really -- kind of left that as an open question. the district attorney now saying there's no question that he was armed. now, keith lamont scott's wife, she had, and her attorneys had said she believed that keith lamont scott was unarmed, that she wasn't aware he had any type of weapon. during this news conference, the district attorney said that text messages a month before the shooting included arguments about a gun between scott and
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her husband keith lamont scott. now, there was another witness. remember that story that initially, you know, really catapulted this to national attention is keith lamont scott was holding a book instead of a gun. several witnesses repeated that. it really caught fire on social media. and it really fueled the community anger. again, the district attorney said upon further investigation by those agents, by the state bureau of investigation, the witness who initially said that, that witness then told the agents she never actually saw the shooting. she was in her apartment. never witnessed that. it really speaks to how, you know, in this age of social media and this digital age where some sketchy information may come out at the very beginning of this investigation, it really, you know, just sent this story around the country and it fueled, you know, that national conversation about police
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tactics and, in fact, the district attorney says, in these cases, we should not jump to conclusions until we have all the facts. so posting more of this information online, urging the stay calm. again, charlotte police on alert watching these 12-hour shifts in case any violent demonstrations were to break out following the announcement of this decision, with tamron. >> gabe, thank you very much. we have more breaking news to report out of gatlinburg, tb, where now authority have confirmed another fatality as a result of those fires burning there. some 14,000 residents displaced result of this fire. 150 homes or more damaged or destroyed. so again, right now, there are reports of yet another fatality as a result of the fires burning in gatlinburg, tennessee, in that region. so we'll keep you up to date on the latest news there. and we have more breaking news political news to report after the break. nancy pelosi just re-elected house democratic leader. we'll be back with a live report from washington on those developments.
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as i mentioned before the break, nancy pelosi has just been re-elected house democratic leader in a closed-door secret ballot fight, fighting off channeler ohio congressman, tim ryan. let's go to kasie hunt, she joins us now from capitol hill with the latest. kasie, what can you tell us happened. >> reporter: hey, tamron, tim ryan, the congressman from ohio, mounting a really strork than expected challenge to house leader, nancy pelosi, but she has carried the day, by a vote of 134-63. there were 197 democratic house members and delegates voting in this election. that's just short ofne third of the caucus saying that they want tim ryan to be their leader. and nancy pelosi had been out there saying that she had the support of over two-thirds of the caucus. that is true, but just barely. she has about 68% support. and privately, members in the room are telling me that there's
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some surprise that ryan got to that level. i think it demonstrates that had potentially one of the members who had been discussed as a potential challenger, congressman joe crowley from new york, was one, could have defeated nancy pelosi in this election. and it says a lot about the levels of discontent inside the caucus, in the wake of those election results. now, that said, we have talked to a couple of members. i talked to congressman cummings, as he was coming out of this meeting. he said he cast his vote for nancy pelosi, because he believes that the democrats need somebody in this environment who is battle-tested. nancy pelosi has a well-earned reputation for being able to really wrestle democratic priorities through this body, when she was the speaker of the house, and to stand in the way of what republicans have wanted to do on a couple of occasions. you've heard, in fact, president obama talk about her political skills. she spoke admiringly of her simple raw political talents. i think that is something that a
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lot of the members here appreciate and want in an age of donald trump and republican control of both houses of cardiology. tamron? >> thank you, kasie. let's go to nbc's kristen welker. she is covering the president-elect and his transition team. kristen, we woke up today, a note from, a tweet from donald trump saying, in a couple of weeks, he's going to make a major announcement about his children taking over his business. >> that's right, tamron, on december 15th, president-elect trump saying that he's going to hold a news conference and he's going to announce how he's going to be leaving, in his words, my great business in total. a lot of qutions, though, about whether or not, whatever decision he ultimately makes, will get rid of any potential conflict of interest. this is what he told "the times" a couple of weeks ago, tamron. he said, the law is totally on my side, meaning the president can't have a conflict of interest. despite that, i don't want there to be a conflict of interest anyway. now, the reality is, the law does not say that presidents can't have conflicts of
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interest. however, they usually do put their holdings in a blind trust. will the president-elect do that? will he turn over his business to his children? even if he does turn his business over to his children, tamron, there are still potential conflicts of interest there. so it's not clear that that would completely resolve any problems with optics, which he says is really what he's aiming to do here. would he liquidate his assets? that would be incredibly difficult given his vast business empire. this is clearly something he's getting a lot of pressure for. take a listen to what ben cardin had to say yesterday. >> he has a responsibility to protect the office of the president and to adhere to the constitutional restrictions. he could take steps before january 20th. congress, as an institution, has a responsibility as an independent branch of government to let the president-elect know he needs to take steps. >> and that was on "meet the press daily," tamron. so, clearly, he's getting a lot of pressure to deal with this issue, but a lot of questions about how exactly he's going to do it. maybe buying himself a little
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bit more time, by holding this news conference on december 15th. one more headline, i'll give you, tamron, which is that we just had that daily conference call with his transition team. they say that he has narrowed down his picks for secretary of state to four people, including mitt romney and rudy giuliani, of course he had dinner with mitt romney last night and then mitt romney came out, made that statement and said, the president-elect did something that he couldn't do, which is to win a general election. it wasn't quite an apology for all of the scathing comments that romney had made about donald trump during the campaign, but clearly an oli branch as he vies for that top position. transition officials not naming the other two candidates, but if we're reading the tea leaves, he's met with david petraeus and also senator corker. so possible they're in the mix as well. tamron? >> kristen, thank you very much for catching us up to speed there. we really appreciate it. thank you for watching this hour of "msnbc live." we really appreciate it. i'll see you here tomorrow. let me turn things over to dr h andrea mitche"andrea mitchell r.
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>> thank you so much, tamron hall. right now on andrea mitche"andr report reports", breaking news from charlotte, north carolina, where a local district attorney says he will not pursue charges in the police shooting death of keith lamont scott. >> in conclusion, after a thorough review and given the totality of the circumstances and credible evidence in this case, it is my opinion that officer vinson acted lawfully when he shot mr. scott. he acted lawfully. i am fully satisfied and entirely convinced that officer vinson's use of deadly force was lawful. >> and breaking news on capitol hill. her reign continues. nancy pelosi re-elected as house democratic leader, fending off a strong challenge from ohio congressman, tim ryan. family ties. donald trump tweets he will quit his business to continues trait on being president. but can he completely separate himself from his self-branded family-run real estate empire? >> we're working on making sure that all of those conflicts are
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taken care of, and doing the best job we can, given the fact that the laws actually are very vague and don't contemplate this scenario. >> and full plate. dinner with mitt romney at a three-star trump tower restaurant, as trump chooses fellow billionaires for treasuries of commerce and keeps the guessing going over secretary of state. >> i'm impressed by what i've seen in the transition effort. the people he's selected as members of his cabinet are solid, effective, capable people. . >> good day! i'm andrea mitchell in washington. we are following a lot of breaking news. first, charlotte, north carolina, where prosecutors just announced that no charges will be filed against the police officer who fatally shot 43-year-old keith lamont scott back in september. that shooting, which was captured on cell phone video, recorded ly scott's wife,


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