No charges in killing of Keith Lamont Scott, whose police encounter was videotaped by wife

A North Carolina officer who fatally shot a black man in September, prompting days of violent protests, "acted lawfully" and will not be charged, prosecutors announced Wednesday.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Officer Brentley Vinson, who is also black, shot Keith Lamont Scott, 43, in a parking lot as officers were preparing to serve an arrest warrant against someone else. Vinson has said he saw Scott rolling a marijuana joint and holding a gun, and fired at him out of concern for public safety.

22 PHOTOS
Days and nights of unrest in Charlotte since death of Keith Lamont Scott
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Days and nights of unrest in Charlotte since death of Keith Lamont Scott
A policeman dressed in riot gear watches protesters during another night of protests over the police shooting of Keith Scott in Charlotte, North Carolina, U.S. September 22, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Blake
CHARLOTTE, NC - SEPTEMBER 23: Demonstrators take a break from marching as a helicopter flies above on September 23, 2016 in Charlotte, NC. Protests began on Tuesday night following the fatal shooting of 43-year-old Keith Lamont Scott at an apartment complex near UNC Charlotte. A state of emergency was declared overnight in Charlotte and a midnight curfew was imposed by mayor Jennifer Roberts, to be lifted at 6 a.m. Despite a midnight curfew, police allowed the peaceful march to continue without interference. (Photo by Sean Rayford/Getty Images)
CHARLOTTE, NC - SEPTEMBER 22: Demonstrators march in protest on September 22, 2016 in Charlotte, NC. Protests began on Tuesday night following the fatal shooting of 43-year-old Keith Lamont Scott at an apartment complex near UNC Charlotte. A state of emergency was declared overnight in Charlotte and a midnight curfew was imposed by mayor Jennifer Roberts, to be lifted at 6 a.m. Despite a midnight curfew, police allowed the peaceful march to continue without interference. (Photo by Sean Rayford/Getty Images)
A U.S. National guard soldier accepts a hug from protester as people march through downtown to protest the police shooting of Keith Scott in Charlotte, North Carolina, U.S., September 22, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Blake TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
National Guard personnel assemble at the National Guard Armory after NC Gov. Pat McCrory ordered a state of emergency following protests against the police shooting of Keith Scott, in Charlotte, North Carolina, U.S. September 22, 2016. REUTERS/Jason Miczek
A man peers through the damage to the Hyatt House hotel in uptown Charlotte, NC that happened during a protest of the police shooting of Keith Scott, in Charlotte, North Carolina, U.S. September 22, 2016. REUTERS/Jason Miczek
Demonstrators march against the Charlotte police shooting of Keith Lamont Scott in Manhattan, New York, U.S., September 21, 2016. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Carolina Panthers linebacker Thomas Davis speaks to the media on Thursday, Sept. 22, 2016 about being an African-American male, being a father, the need for change and the possible importance of releasing the video of Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department officer Brentley Vinson's fatal shooting of Keith Lamont Scott on Tuesday evening at The Village at College Downs apartment complex in the University City area. (Jeff Siner/Charlotte Observer/TNS via Getty Images)
Protesters attend a demonstration against police brutality in Charlotte, North Carolina, on September 21, 2016, following the shooting of Keith Lamont Scott the previous day. A protester shot during a second night of unrest in Charlotte, North Carolina was critically wounded, the city said, after earlier reporting that the person had died. / AFP / NICHOLAS KAMM (Photo credit should read NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)
CHARLOTTE, NC - SEPTEMBER 22: Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Chief Kerr Putney, right, and Charlotte Mayor Jennifer Roberts field questions from the media September 22, 2016 in Charlotte, North Carolina. Protests began on Tuesday night following the fatal shooting of 43-year-old Keith Lamont Scott at an apartment complex near UNC Charlotte. (Photo by Sean Rayford/Getty Images)
TOPSHOT - Protesters hold signs during a demonstration against police brutality in Charlotte, North Carolina, on September 21, 2016, following the shooting of Keith Lamont Scott the previous day. A protester shot during a second night of unrest in Charlotte, North Carolina was critically wounded, the city said, after earlier reporting that the person had died. / AFP / NICHOLAS KAMM (Photo credit should read NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)
Blood covers the pavement where a person was shot in uptown Charlotte, NC during a protest of the police shooting of Keith Scott, in Charlotte, North Carolina, U.S. September 21, 2016. REUTERS/Jason Miczek TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
A car is reflected in a damaged window to a building after protests against the police shooting of Keith Scott, in Charlotte, North Carolina, U.S. September 22, 2016. REUTERS/Jason Miczek TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
CHARLOTTE, NC - SEPTEMBER 21: Police clash with protestors as residents and activists protest the death of Keith Scott September 21, 2016 in Charlotte, North Carolina. Scott, who was black, was shot and killed at an apartment complex near UNC Charlotte by police officers, who say they warned Scott to drop a gun he was allegedly holding. (Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images)
CHARLOTTE, NC - SEPTEMBER 21: People block traffic on the I-85 (Interstate 85) during protests following the death of a man shot by a police officer on September 21, 2016 in Charlotte, NC. The protests began the previous night following the fatal shooting of 43-year-old Keith Lamont Scott at an apartment complex near UNC Charlotte. (Photo by Sean Rayford/Getty Images)
CHARLOTTE, NC - SEPTEMBER 21: A police officer attempts to extinguish a fire on the I-85 (Interstate 85) during protests following the death of a man shot by a police officer on September 21, 2016 in Charlotte, NC. The protests began the previous night following the fatal shooting of 43-year-old Keith Lamont Scott at an apartment complex near UNC Charlotte. (Photo by Sean Rayford/Getty Images)
CHARLOTTE, NC - SEPTEMBER 21: Protestors march down W.T. Harris Blvd. September 21, 2016 in Charlotte, NC. The protests began the previous night following the fatal shooting of 43-year-old Keith Lamont Scott by a police officer at an apartment complex near UNC Charlotte. (Photo by Sean Rayford/Getty Images)
CHARLOTTE, NC - SEPTEMBER 21: Police and protesters carry a seriously wounded protester into the parking area of the the Omni Hotel during a march to protest the death of Keith Scott September 21, 2016 in Carolina. Scott, who was black, was shot and killed at an apartment complex near UNC Charlotte by police officers, who say they warned Scott to drop a gun he was allegedly holding. (Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images)
CHARLOTTE, NC - SEPTEMBER 21: Police officers face off with protestors on the I-85 (Interstate 85) during protests following the death of a man shot by a police officer on September 21, 2016 in Charlotte, NC. The protests began the previous night following the fatal shooting of 43-year-old Keith Lamont Scott at an apartment complex near UNC Charlotte. (Photo by Sean Rayford/Getty Images)
A man stands on a car in uptown Charlotte, NC to protest the police shooting of Keith Scott, in Charlotte, North Carolina, U.S. September 21, 2016. REUTERS/Jason Miczek TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Two women embrace while looking at a police officer in uptown Charlotte, NC during a protest of the police shooting of Keith Scott, in Charlotte, North Carolina, U.S. September 21, 2016. REUTERS/Jason Miczek TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
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The case gained national notoriety after Scott's wife, Rakeyia, shared cellphone video she took of the moments leading up to the killing, in which she begs officers not to shoot her husband.

"It is my opinion that Officer Vinson acted lawfully when he shot Mr. Scott," Mecklenburg County District Attorney Andrew Murray said at a news conference. "He acted lawfully."

A team of 15 career prosecutors made the decision unanimously based on the legal definition of what justifies the use of deadly force for self-defense, Murray added.

"The same legal standards apply to both private citizens and police officers," he said. "[But] police are sometimes required to run toward, rather than away, from dangerous situations to protect the public."

In this case, Vinson had to make a split-second decision, Murray said. He ultimately fired four shots at Scott after Scott drew his weapon and didn't obey repeated commands by the officers to drop it, staring at them with a "trance-like look" in his eyes, Murray added.

Related: Social Reactions to Keith Lamont Scott's death

13 PHOTOS
Social Reactions to Keith Lamont Scott's death
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Social Reactions to Keith Lamont Scott's death
#KeithLamontScott. Killed by police in #Charlotte. He was reading. The thing they made illegal for our ancestors to do.
I awaken to another shooting? Another hashtag #KeithLamontScott. Another reason why we must remain vigilant.
Say #Keithlamontscott did have a gun, isn't he In a open carry state? So uhm.. Once again we need answers.
I'm Black. I am 43. I read books. I pick up my kids from school. I am #KeithLamontScott. I just haven't been killed yet. #BlackLivesMatter
Whole lot of questions that need answering quickly this morning #KeithLamontScott
#KeithLamontScott is the 732nd person to be killed by a cop in 2016. Police brutality is a real problem. Face it. Don't hide behind bigotry
#KeithLamontScott was the wrong person. Police were looking for someone else. If he had a gun, it is an open carry state. Try again
Angry & heartbroken and I'm white & privileged. Can't imagine what African Americans feel like tonight. Enough is enough. #KeithLamontScott
I have a headache. I'm tired. I don't know whether to be angry, sad, cry or just not care anymore. I feel dejected. #KeithLamontScott
Nobody was killed because of football players kneeling during the national anthem. #TerenceCrutcher #KeithLamontScott #blacklivesmatter
Again, members of the media. Do NOT call #KeithLamontScott a "suspect." He was NOT a suspect or wanted for ANYTHING when police shot him.
If u are neither sad nor outraged tonight, please open your eyes. If u are, know you're not alone. #KeithLamontScott #TerenceCrutcher
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Murray met with Scott's family prior to making his announcement.

"As you can imagine, it was a difficult discussion. However, the family was extremely gracious," Murray said. "No one, and I mean no one, should ever experience, let alone witness, the violent death of a loved one."

In a statement, the Scott family said they were "profoundly disappointed" with the decision.

"While we understand that many in the Charlotte area share our frustration and pain, we ask that everyone work together to fix the system that allowed this tragedy to happen in the first place," the statement said.

Justin Bamberg, an attorney for the Scotts, later called it a "bittersweet day."

"We've been saying from the very beginning that we want to know the facts, we want certain questions answered. And we did get some of those answers today," Bamberg said. "But we're going to continue to look into this matter."

More from NBC News: Can 'Implicit Bias' Training Stop Police Officers From Acting on Hidden Prejudice?

Whether Scott was armed was a key point of contention in the case. In the video taken by Scott's wife, Rakeyia Scott insists he's not.

"He doesn't have a gun. He has a TBI [traumatic brain injury]," she says. "He's not going to do anything to you guys. He just took his medicine."

The family continued to maintain after the killing that Scott was unarmed, and Bamberg said Wednesday that Rakeyia Scott "was not aware of her husband having a gun" at the time.

Protesters demanded police release more video to prove whether or not Scott was armed as anger boiled over in Charlotte after the shooting. Vinson was not wearing a bodycam at the time of the incident, but the three other plainclothes officers who were at the scene were.

Related: Can 'Implicit Bias' Training Stop Police Officers From Acting on Hidden Prejudice?

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Chief Kerr Putney eventually decided to release bodycam and dashcam videos, but neither clearly showed whether Scott had a firearm in his hand. Putney said police concluded from other evidence — namely a gun found at the scene, which a lab analysis showed had Scott's DNA and fingerprints on it — that Scott was armed at the time.

Murray on Wednesday showed reporters surveillance video of Scott going into a nearby convenience store minutes before his death, which showed Scott with a gun and holster that Murray said was consistent with the one described by police. He also played police radio traffic audio, in which officers mentioned seeing Scott's gun before taking any action.

A bullet was later found to be in the gun — which was stolen and illegally sold to Scott years prior, Murray said.

Murray pleaded with the community to be understanding of his team's decision not to press charges.

"We took a lot of painstaking effort to make certain that there was no personal bias in the review," he said. "Public opinion did not factor in our determination. I'd like the community to take a collective pause."

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