A judge on Thursday granted a request from the police chief of a North Carolina city to release body camera video recorded in the aftermath of the shooting death of a Black man by an off-duty sheriff’s deputy.
Walker, 37, was shot and killed on Saturday by Cumberland County Sheriff’s Deputy Lt. Jeffrey Hash after he allegedly jumped on the officer’s car in Fayetteville, North Carolina. Hash, who has been a member of the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office since 2005, was off-duty at the time of the shooting, but insisted to police that he responded in self-defense under the state’s stand-your-ground law.
Fayetteville Police Chief Gina Hawkins filed the petition with the courts on Tuesday. She wanted to publicly release footage that she says will show exchanges between Fayetteville police officers and three witnesses at the scene of last Saturday’s fatal shooting of Jason Walker by off-duty Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office Lt. Jeffrey Hash, CBS affiliate WNCN reported.
One witness, Elizabeth Ricks, has made comments on social media, released a video and spoken at a demonstration, creating “significant public attention,” according to the petition. In bystander video of the shooting’s aftermath, it appears the off-duty deputy had been driving a red truck that wasn’t a law enforcement vehicle.
Senior Resident Superior Court Judge Jim Ammons told The Fayetteville Observer that he approved the release “in the interest of justice.” In a statement, the Fayetteville Police Department said they sought the release of the video “in the interest of transparency,”
Fayetteville police said Monday that a preliminary investigation determined that Walker, 37, “ran into traffic and jumped on a moving vehicle.” Hash shot Walker and then called 911, police said. Walker was pronounced dead at the scene.
Ben Crump, the civil rights attorney who represented the family of George Floyd and has been retained by the Walker family, told a rally at a Fayetteville church that Walker was the single father of a 14-year-old son.
“There are a lot of reasons why Black children have to grow up without their fathers,” Crump said. “But this reason is unacceptable. This is unacceptable that we have to tell that young boy that his father was shot unnecessarily, unjustifiably and unconstitutionally by somebody who was supposed to protect and serve him.”
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