'We want the tape,' Charlotte protesters chant

Protesters ignored Charlotte's midnight curfew and police stood by and watched as the mostly well-behaved crowds demonstrated for a third night over the police shooting of Keith Lamont Scott.

Although they were generally peaceable -- save for one moment when they blocked I-277 and were chased off by police -- the protesters remained implacable on one key demand: "Release the tape!" and "We want the tape!" were common chants last night and early today.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Chief Kerr Putney has infuriated many in the community with his continued refusal to release police video of the incident in which Scott, a black man, was shot and killed on Tuesday by a plainclothes officer, also a black man.

Police have insisted that Scott was holding a gun and refusing orders to drop it when he was shot. Chief Putney has said dashcam and body-cam video support the police version of the shooting. But he acknowledged on Thursday that the video “does not give me absolute visual evidence that would confirm that that person is pointing a gun, but with all the other evidence, supports what we heard.”

Witnesses to the shooting say Scott, 43, was holding a book, not a gun. But it appears that the video may not conclusively back up either claim. The police have reported that they found a handgun, but no sign of a book, near Scott after he was shot.

In any case, Putney was steadfast in his refusal to permit the public to see the tape. It was shown to members of Scott's family and the family's attorney Thursday. The family declined to comment after viewing the video, and their lawyer said he couldn't tell whether Scott was holding a gun.

"It is impossible to discern from the videos what, if anything, Mr. Scott is holding in his hands," attorney Justin Bomber said in a statement. "When he was shot and killed, Mr. Scott's hands were by his side and he was slowly walking backwards.

"It was incredibly difficult for members of the Scott family to view these videos, but as a matter of the greater good and transparency, the Scott family asks that the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department publicly immediately release both of the videos they watched today."