People who take to the streets to demonstrate their grievances have every right to do so, and they should be respected for it even by those who disagree with their message. David T. Foster III dtfoster@charlotteobserver.com
People who take to the streets to demonstrate their grievances have every right to do so, and they should be respected for it even by those who disagree with their message. David T. Foster III dtfoster@charlotteobserver.com

Mark Washburn

Thoughts on Keith Scott shooting, the protests and what’s left unsaid

December 02, 2016 04:17 PM

UPDATED December 02, 2016 05:38 PM

Here’s what I think.

I think the whole thing is tragic.

I think the cops had no choice but to act after they spotted the pistol.

I think Keith Lamont Scott, father of seven and a convicted felon, had no business possessing a gun.

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I think it’s impossible to see into someone’s mind and know what they were thinking and reacting to in a moment of stress.

I think when you’re surrounded by police and they tell you to drop the gun, you need to drop it.

I think people who take to the streets to demonstrate their grievances have every right to do so, and they should be respected for it even by those who disagree with their message.

I think people who terrorize motorists, harm others on the street and loot businesses are not demonstrators but criminal opportunists.

I think people who claim to have seen things they haven’t and publicize them in a tense time should bear responsibility for their lies.

I think some people adhere to fantastical beliefs no matter what the evidence to the contrary.

I think in the end, people will believe what they want to believe.

I think disclosing video of police shootings of civilians and other troubling encounters is vital to building trust.

I think District Attorney Andrew Murray acted with distinction in making public a full accounting of the evidence in the case.

I think a piecemeal disclosure of some key facts – particularly the statements of the officers at the scene – could have been made in a more timely manner to address concerns of the public.

I think the use of lethal force by police is a substantive public issue.

I think distrust of authority is palpable in a wider cross-section of the community than most people believe.

I think our desire to maintain a pleasant city sometimes thwarts our need to confront unpleasant facts.

I think the public anguish exposed in the aftermath of the Scott shooting is at least in part because of feelings of disenfranchisement held by many.

I think we have to find ways to address that.

I think we need to find a way to get ourselves together.

That’s what I think.

Mark Washburn: 704-358-5007, @WashburnChObs