Michael Scurlock, a former York County Sheriff’s deputy and a former Carolina Panthers player, is a close friend of Brentley Vinson, the Charlotte police officer whose shooting of Keith Lamont Scott in September led to protests and riots.
Scurlock said Wednesday he is relieved no charges will be filed against Vinson. Scurlock also said the public must have patience and trust the judicial system that, in this case, showed Vinson should not be charged.
“What this incident has shown is that it is the right thing, the prudent thing, to let the investigation be done fully and properly, and let the judicial system run its course,” Scurlock said. “Sometimes people don’t want to hear that, but here that investigation showed clearly what happened.”
The shooting incident prompted concerns from many about how black people are handled by police. Vinson, Scott, and Scurlock are all black.
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Scurlock, 44, and Vinson became friends after the two men met at a Bible study years ago. Scurlock reached out to Vinson after the shooting to support him.
In September, Scurlock appeared on many media outlets, including CNN, to voice his support for Vinson and ask for community unity while urging people not to rush to judgment. Scurlock used his experience as a police officer coupled with his friendship with Vinson to try to be a force for reason while others protested in events that caused damage and some violence in Charlotte.
Scurlock had been a York County deputy for years, often working as a public affairs spokesman dealing with the public and the media in high-profile cases. That media experience was part of the reason he spoke to so many outlets about the responsibility of the public to get facts, not rumors, before acting.
Scurlock campaigned for months for sheriff earlier this year but ultimately withdrew before the election. He reiterated that any loss of life is tragic but said the exhaustive police and prosecution investigation shows Vinson was not at fault, and his use of deadly force was lawful. Scurlock had not yet spoken to Vinson after Wednesday’s decision but said he is going to reach out later.