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Fayetteville releases some of the police body camera video in the Jason Walker shooting case

By Mallika Kallingal, Devon M. Sayers and Alta Spells, CNN

Updated: Sat, 15 Jan 2022 04:43:35 GMT

Source: CNN

City officials in Fayetteville, North Carolina, released three videos from body cameras of police officers who arrived at the scene where an off-duty sheriff's deputy shot a man Saturday.

Jason Walker, a 37-year-old Black man, was shot and killed by Cumberland County Sheriff's Deputy Lt. Jeffrey Hash, who told authorities Walker had jumped on his vehicle.

Two of the body camera videos show a man in a sweatshirt who identifies himself as Jason Walker's father.

In one clip, the father says, "I saw it, I saw it, I saw it, he jumped up, that fella jumped up on the hood and he jumped out of his car and shot him."

In the background, Hash tells another officer that Walker ran into the road and jumped on his truck.

Moments later, that officer turns around and tries to find out who's related to the victim, Anthony Walker says, "That's my son, that's my son."

In a second video, the father tells an officer that his son left the yard and went out into the street where he jumped on the deputy's pickup.

"He came out the yard and I was trying to get him to come back over here, and I called him. I said come back Jason. He come out into the street. He was out here in the daggone street, and a fella drove up. He jumped up on the guy's hood and the guy jumps out and shoots him," Walker's father says.

The father tells the officer he is not aware of anyone recording the shooting, then points to the hood of the truck.

"You can see where he was on the hood right there," says Walker's father. "See right there, he pulled off, pulled off one of the daggone windshield wipers and he hit the windshield."

When asked whether Jason Walker had any mental health issues, the father says, "I don't know."

In the third video, a woman who provided aid to Walker immediately after he was shot is approached by an officer.

"So we were driving up, but he was already on the ground, but he was in the truck and he came up and I don't know what exactly happened he got on, I don't know if he got onto the car or if he was actually hit, I don't know, but they were in the truck, in the vehicle," said the woman who says her name is Elizabeth Ricks and that she is a trauma nurse.

"I don't understand, they were in a big a** car, he didn't have anything on him or anything like that. Speculation, I don't know if he was mentally unwell or anything but and the guy just started shooting him," she continues.

"I didn't see him pose a threat," Ricks says to the officer who then asked whether Walker was already on the ground when Hash shot him. "Yeah, it's like he hit him and then just got out and then just shot him."

A man, who Ricks identified as her fiancé in an interview with CNN affiliate WTVD, is seen standing near her and tells the officer he saw the man on the ground when they pulled up.

CNN attempted to reach Ricks multiple times but has not heard back.

Hash's attorney, Parrish Daughtry, told CNN the shooting was self-defense, citing a North Carolina law that includes a stand-your-ground provision. She said Hash is devastated by Walker's death.

The three videos are about 5 minutes long and "represents the first videos we submitted to the judge," city officials said in the news release. The videos were edited before they were released publicly to "protect witnesses' privacy," according to the release.

The city said it was working to get more of the body camera footage released, "the City has filed a petition to have all of the body cam footage released which encompasses about 20 hours of video. Staff will be working as expeditiously as possible to review that video and submit it for the judge's consideration," said the release.

Judge James Ammons Jr. ordered the release of the bodycam videos after Fayetteville Police Chief Gina Hawkins requested permission from the court.

"FPD is seeking public release of the witness statement recordings to advance compelling public interest, release would not create a serious threat to the fair administration of justice," she wrote in the filing.

In North Carolina, law enforcement officials must petition the court for permission before law enforcement agency recordings can be released or shared publicly.

The North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation is leading the probe and so far no charges have been filed. The Cumberland County Sheriff​'s Office has confirmed that Hash, ​who has been with the department since 2005, is now on administrative leave pending an internal investigation.

Walker's family has still not received any details of the autopsy or preliminary findings of the investigation, according to their attorney, Ben Crump.

"We got to stop this vicious cycle in America of shoot first and ask questions later when it's Black people. It's unacceptable," Crump said Thursday night at a gathering at the Good Hope Missionary Baptist Church in Fayetteville.

"I tell you brothers and sisters in Fayetteville, North Carolina tonight, that it is the right thing to do, that we speak up for the truth of what happened to Jason Walker, that we fight for the truth of what happened to Jason Walker," Crump said.

Crump added that Hash was a law enforcement officer who was supposed to be trained to protect people, not to take life.

Preliminary investigation

According to the police, a preliminary investigation showed Walker "ran into traffic and jumped on (the) moving vehicle" that the sheriff's deputy was driving. "The driver of the vehicle shot (Walker) and notified 911," according to a statement Saturday by Fayetteville police.

"I had a male jump on my vehicle and break my windshield. I just shot him. He jumped on my vehicle. I just had to shoot him," Hash told the dispatcher in a nearly four-minute 911 call.

"I stopped so I wouldn't hit him and he jumped on my car and started screaming; pulled my windshield wipers off, and started beating my windshield and broke my windshield. I had my wife and my daughter in my vehicle," Hash added.

On Saturday evening a bystander posted a video that began moments after Walker had been shot.

It shows a man standing near the driver's side of a red pickup truck while making a call on a cell phone. A person appears to be lifeless and bleeding on the ground beside him, and at least two people appear to be trying to offer aid to the person on the ground. Uniformed police officers arrive approximately 45 seconds after the video starts.

On Sunday, Chief Hawkins said an analysis of the vehicle's so-called "black box" showed that the "vehicle did not impact anything or anyone," and a windshield wiper had been torn off and used to break the windshield in several places.

"It's important to share some of the confirmed facts of this case with the public to ensure transparency as this investigation proceeds," she said. And added that the weapon used by Hash was not his service weapon.


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