Thursday, December 29, 2016

Video Shows Texas Police Shooting Black Man as He Walked Away
Black Lives Matter activists hold signs during a protest against police shootings of Black people in the United States. | Photo: Reuters

29 December 2016

Two off-duty police officers are seen shooting the unarmed man, who is now paralyzed, in the back as he walked away without posing any threat to them.

A video of the July police shooting of 33-year-old Black man David Collie in Texas has been released and it clearly shows a police officer shooting him in the back as he walked away without posing any immediate threat, Collie's lawyer said after releasing the dashcam footage to the public.

"Unfortunately, what we've seen from the Fort Worth police officer in that video is not an isolated incident. Many members of our community have been assaulted, handled roughly by Fort Worth police officers," attorney Nate Washington said Wednesday after releasing the video, obtained from the District Attorney's Office.

"To be clear, we believe the vast majority of police officers are good and decent people," he added. Following the shooting, his client was hospitalized for 61 days and is now paralyzed from below the abdomen.

The footage contradicts the police’s story at the time when they claimed that Collie had threatened the two officers — who were off duty and working on a private security detail — with a box cutter. The video shows the African-American man walking away from the officers and then getting shot by one of them.

Washington also disputed the police’s version of the incident, saying that while a box cutter was found at the scene, it was at least 10 feet away from the victim. The lawyer said other lawyers in the city have been contacting him about similar cases and videos in their possession showing police brutality.

"We've gotten calls from attorneys across the city, who said, 'I have videos as well, I have photographs of what happened to my client,' and so we're investigating the culture and the practice of the City of Fort Worth," Washington said, according to MSNBC.

But shooting Collie was not enough for the police department in Fort Worth. He was also charged with aggravated assault, but a grand jury dismissed the case against him because the video did not show him holding any weapon, according to Washington.

The news comes just days after another video was posted online showing a Fort Worth white policeman violently arresting a Black woman.

Jacqueline Craig, 46, had called the police to report that a white neighbor had choked her 7-year-old son for throwing trash in front of his home. But instead of responding to the incident, police arrested her and both of her daughters.

The news comes amid a national debate on racial injustice fueled by high-profile cases of police brutality and killings of unarmed Black people which have received increased attention in recent years.

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