Womble Carlyle attorney Scott MacLatchie has been a regular guest on WSOC-TV News in Charlotte to discuss the legal issues surrounding police-involved shootings. So when the Keith Scott shooting (and subsequent protests) took place in Charlotte in September, it made sense for WSOC to once again turn to MacLatchie for insight.
MacLatchie said that from police dashcam video, it appears that the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department has a strong argument that the Scott shooting was justified.
“The legal test looks at, ‘Did the officer respond reasonably to the threat?”, MacLatchie said. “When you talk about someone brandishing a firearm regardless of the position it was being held the answer to that is ‘Yes.’”
MacLatchie noted that in Anderson v. Russell, the Fourth Circuit ruled that “an officer does not have to wait until a gun is pointed at the officer before the officer is entitled to take action. We have further held that an officer is not required to see an object in the suspect’s hand before using deadly force.”
Scott MacLatchie’s practice has been primarily devoted to the defense of law enforcement officers and municipalities in police misconduct and related civil rights litigation in both state and federal courts. He has substantial trial experience with successful verdicts in a wide variety of cases including police shootings, deployment of police dogs, use of force (deadly and non-deadly), asset forfeiture and miscellaneous search and seizure matters ranging from false arrest to execution of high risk search warrants. He practices in Womble Carlyle’s Charlotte office.