Funeral service held for Keith Lamont Scott on James Island
JAMES ISLAND, SC (WCSC/WBTV) - The funeral for Keith Lamont Scott, the man shot and killed by a Charlotte police officer, was held on James Island Friday morning.
Around 200 people gathered inside First Baptist Church of James Island to say goodbye to Keith Scott, a James Island native, who they say was a great father, husband, son, brother, and friend.
The service was an emotional one, and Scott's immediate family could be seen crying in the pews at times.
Scott's sister, Spalvera Graham, read a poem Scott's niece had written. "I pray you're happy and at peace," one part said. Graham also read the obituary for Scott, and during the reading their mother, Vernita Scott-Walker, broke down crying.
“Keith was a very hard worker, outspoken and all around [a] loving person. Keith was all about enjoying life after his motorcycle accident 11 months ago, and that’s when his mother then gave him the nickname ‘Her Robocop’. He always said, “God gave me another chance and I’m going to live and love this time!” (Portion of Keith Scott’s obituary)
"We are just ready to get this behind us," said Cleary Wright, Scott's uncle. "Right now we want this thing to just be over so we can go on with our lives. It's not going to be the same because he's going to be missed. Especially by his wife and the kids."
Scott's father-in-law spoke during the service about the first time he met Scott.
"He had a good mind, he was smart," he said. He went on to talk to his grandchildren telling them, "Don't let your daddy's death be a death in vain. Stay in school, develop your mind."
Those who spoke also pleaded for change surrounding what they call a political issue that took the life of Scott.
"I wish that the world would go ahead and get some laws in place where we can go ahead and move on and get this thing situated where we won't have another person like this that just died senseless[ly]," Wright said.
"We know our voices must be heard," said Johnathan Thrower, a local activist. "So what we're doing is speaking out now and getting our point across."
Thrower lives in North Charleston, but was in Charlotte when Scott was killed. He spoke at the service and said Scott didn't die in vain.
"His death has inspired a breath of life for activism all across the city," he said.
Scott's family attorneys said Friday is the day to begin closure, and stated that they are still on a quest for transparency and accuracy in Scott's death.
"I think it means closure, hopefully, at least for the first part of this very raw, open wound," Attorney Charles Monnett said. "Hopefully it's the first step toward closure."
"They've been ready for this week to come, and particularly this day," Attorney Eduardo Curry said. "They're anxiously awaiting a time and a process to conclude these matters."
Scott, 43, was killed while police were serving a warrant at an apartment complex in northeast Charlotte on September 20th.
Police say he was armed with a gun. His family says he was not. Scott's death sparked days of unrest in uptown Charlotte.
The funeral was initially slated to take place last Thursday on James Island along the coast of South Carolina. Scott was originally from James Island, according to his obituary.
South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley declared a state of emergency and called for coastal evacuations ahead of the Hurricane Matthew and the funeral was postponed due to the pending weather.
An independent autopsy was released Wednesday by Keith Scott's family, confirming he died from gunshot wounds in the back and abdomen. He also sustained injuries to a rib and wrist. The medical examiner's autopsy results have her to be released.
The police officer who shot Keith Scott is on paid administrative leave.
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