Washington D.C. has finally released the body camera footage on Thursday of the fatal police shooting on an 18-year-old black man, following Black Lives Matter protests outside a police station and Mayor Muriel Bowser’s home.
The footage of the killing was shared within less than 24 hours after Deon Kay was shot and killed by a patrolling officer of the Metropolitan Police Department’s seventh district in southeast Washington D.C.
In a press briefing, Mayor Bowser said that the community is hurting, and people want answers. That is why the MPD is gathering all the facts. His administration has also started conducting a complete investigation of the incident.
According to MPD Police Chief Peter Newsham, officers responded to reports of a “man with a gun” at 3:39 PM. Police had also seen a livestream on the social media account of the man. However, one thing Newsham didn’t mention, was whether the man was Kay or not.
As police arrived on the scene, two individuals left the car and fled on foot with officers in pursuit. The officer involved in the shooting incident was chasing the one of the men and stopped when the suspect made too much distance from the officers, according to the police chief.
Deon Kay approached with a shotgun at the exact moment the officer turned around. In response to that, the officer fired one round, Newsham said.
Kay was shot in the chest, but police immediately gave first aid. He was taken to a hospital immediately after the incident, before he was pronounced dead, said the police chief.
Newsham also said that that officer saw Kay throw the shotgun at the time of the incident. A handgun which is believed to Kay’s, was found almost 100 feet from the shooting spot.
According to the chief, Kay is a validated member of the local gang from the area. He also had previous multiple prominent touches with the criminal justice system. Newsham further added that Kay had already fallen through numbers of safety nets before the shooting incident.
Two people were arrested on the scene. An 18-year-old was charged with carrying a pistol without license — he possessed an unregistered ghost gun. Another 18-year-old was charged with not having a driver’s license while he was behind the wheel.
The officers involved in the incident have been given an administrative leave. The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia has been conducting an independent review for the incident of using force, Newsham stated.
Alexander Alvarez is the name of the officer who was discharged with the weapon. According to the new police reform enacted in July, police departments are required to reveal the names of the officers associated with any serious or deadly force. This particular reform also requires the MPD to release the body camera footage within five days of the incident, though the department released the footage within 24 hours following the incident. This particular legislation was passed amidst the protest over police brutality after the death of George Floyd under the Minneapolis Police custody.
Newsham encouraged the people to go over the footage with attention, and decide whether to draw their own conclusion or not.
The reason behind putting out the footage of the shooting was to stop any kind of misinformation from spreading. Presently, there’s a lot of misinformation across the country. Any kind of added misleading information can potentially lead to disturbance in the city, which is the last thing the police department wants in Washington D.C.
In the body cam footage, Alvarez can be seen chasing Kay and heard telling him not to move several times before the sound of the gunshot, followed by Kay falling to the ground.