Monday, September 27, 2010

Erik Scott Inquest Days 3 and 4

The Erik Scott inquest continued Friday and Saturday.

On Friday, one witness's testiminy seems to reconciles other discrepant testimony as reported by 13ActionNews:
"I really think he was exasperated with the whole thing and wanted to hand the officer the gun, which is where the mistake was made," says Wentworth Eatherton, who noticed Scott's gun was secured in a holster, which means it couldn't have actually been fired. "After he was shot, as he slowly turned to fall, a triangular-shaped, fabric gun holder with a zipper, fell down about a foot in front of him."
According to this witness, Scott was trying to hand the officers the gun in the holster. The holster sounds like the typical inexpensive fabric holster, perhaps used for inside-the-waistband concealed carry (Scott had a concealed carry permit).

If Scott was trying to hand the police the holstered gun, it seems unlikely that the officer reasonably believed himself of the public in danger when he shot Erik Scott. The officer claims that Scott raised the gun and pointed it. On day 4, the following is reported by 13Action News:
Every one testified they saw Erik move his right hand towards his waist. It gets unclear as a few recall him pulling his gun out; pictures show the gun never left its holster.
If pictures show the gun never left the holster, the pictures support the testimony of Wentworth Etherton, quoted above. It would be tough for the officer to explain how, on a presumably bright, sunny day in Las Vegas, the officer could confuse a holstered gun with a upholstered gun being pointed at him.

Erik Scott is not completely blameless if he was lifting the gun, even holstered. He should have kept his hands empty and in plain sight. Handling the gun at all could result in an officer misinterpreting the action.

Some of the testimony focused on the actions of the police immediately after the shooting, which is probably not relevant to whether the shooting was justifiable. As reported by Fox5News:
"After that, nobody came up to check to see if he had a pulse," witness Edward Fishman said.

The inquest continues on Monday.

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