The story of Glo Merriweather
By AARON MORRISON, Senior Writer
CHARLOTTE, North Carolina — In 2016, local activist Glo Merriweather had one simple question: After two years of tense, nationwide protests over the police-involved deaths of African-Americans, why are the police still killing people?
On Sept. 20 of that year, a black Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department officer named Brentley Vinson gunned down Keith Lamont Scott, a 43-year-old black man with disabilities and the father of seven children. Scott had been waiting to pick up his son at the Village at College Downs, an apartment complex near Charlotte’s University of North Carolina campus, when officers confronted him over his possession of a firearm.
Following an investigation into the incident, the local district attorney’s office revealed that Charlotte officers had been conducting a surveillance operation that hadn’t targeted Scott. But Scott may have spooked the officers by exiting his white SUV and peeking into the tinted windows of their surveillance van. The officers thought their cover was blown. Vinson observed Scott seated in his SUV, allegedly rolling a blunt and later displaying a semi-automatic handgun in a concealed carry state. That made Scott the focus of police attention. Vinson and other officers’ attempted arrest of Scott escalated to a fatal standoff.
Scott’s family and local clergy issued swift calls for peace and accountability, but the response from citizens and law enforcement did not satisfy their requests. Within hours of the shooting, residents joined Scott’s relatives near the scene of the shooting. The night had been peaceful until, authorities said, participants threw rocks and water bottles at officers. Police responded by deploying tear gas and flash-bang grenades.
“What happened that night, just so everyone is clear, is people showed up to find out why Keith Lamont Scott was killed,” Merriweather said in a recent interview with Mic, “and was met with a very heavily armed police entity that threw tear gas, that cursed out his children, who had just gotten off a school bus at 4 p.m. to find their father dead in the streets.”
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