The friends and family of Keith Lamont Scott, the Charlotte man killed by police this week, portray him as a “family man” and “likable.” This may be true.
However, Scott also had a long police record that included gun violations. Buried deep in this Charlotte Observer story, we learn:
Scott was convicted in April 2004 of a misdemeanor assault with a deadly weapon charge in Mecklenburg County. Other charges stemming from that date were dismissed: felony assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill, and misdemeanors assault on a child under 12, assault on a female and communicating threats.
In April 2015 in Gaston County Court, Scott was found guilty of driving while intoxicated.
In 1992, Scott was charged in Charleston County, S.C., with several different crimes on different dates, including carrying a concealed weapon (not a gun), simple assault and contributing to the delinquency of a minor. He pleaded guilty to all charges.
Scott also was charged with aggravated assault in 1992 and assault with intent to kill in 1995. Both charges were reduced, but the disposition of the cases is unclear.
And there is this:
According to Bexar County, Texas, records, Scott was sentenced in March 2005 to 15 months in a state jail for evading arrest. In July of that year, records show, he was sentenced to seven years in prison on a conviction of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. A Texas Department of Criminal Justice spokesman said Scott completed his sentence and was released from prison in 2011.
None of this means, necessarily, that Scott had a gun when the police killed him or that the police reasonably felt threatened by him. But Scott’s record makes it all the more unfair to assume — as the Charlotte protesters do, explicitly or implicitly — that claims by the police that he was armed and potentially dangerous are untrue.