Newly released video of a July police shooting that left a man paralyzed contradicts the Texas officers’ claims that he threatened them with a weapon, his lawyer said.
The dash-cam footage shows a Fort Worth officer shoot David Collie just seconds after the officer emerges from his car. At the same time, a Tarrant County sheriff’s deputy is pointing a flashlight at Collie.
The video was released Tuesday by Collie’s attorney Nate Washington. His 33-year-old client can no longer move his body below the waist.
One of two shots fired by their officer struck Collie in the lower torso, Fort Worth Police Department officials said this past summer.
The two officers “were working together in an off-duty capacity,” the department said. They moonlighted as security guards for the apartment complex where they encountered Collie, according to The Associated Press.
That night, the cops responded to reports that two shirtless black men had robbed a gas station. They became suspicious of Collie because he matched the general description of a shirtless black man.
He was just walking to a friend’s home, his lawyer has said.
The officers allege that Collie first ducked down behind a bush when they appeared and then attempted to flee while ignoring orders to stop and remove his hand from his pocket.
The encounter quickly escalated into gunfire. Forth Worth police officials allege that Collie menaced the officers with a shiny silver object, believed to be a firearm, before the one officer fired at him.
Investigators retrieved a box cutter, but no gun. Washington said the box cutter did not belong to Collie, according to AP. He also argues that the video shows that Collie never threatened the officers and had actually complied with orders to lift his arms.
In the darkened footage, it’s difficult to get a clear view of Collie’s hands or to tell how far apart the men were at the time.
Fort Worth police Sgt. Marc Povero told The Huffington Post that department officials reviewed the footage “immediately after the incident” and determined that the officers’ description of what transpired matched the video.
A department review of the shooting is complete, according to AP, but its findings are private. The Fort Worth officer has returned to duty.
Collie, who was hospitalized for two months, was initially charged with aggravated assault on a public servant. The case has since been thrown out.
Even before this latest footage was released, Fort Worth police were facing criticism for another unsettling video that shows a cop roughly arresting a 49-year-old woman and her two teenaged daughters, who’d called police to help handle a dispute with a neighbor. Their arrests have sparked protests, according to The Star-Telegram. Collie told Dallas News that he felt that incident compelled him to share the video of his shooting.
On Tuesday afternoon, the Fort Worth police tweeted a conciliatory message assuring the public that they’ve heard the complaints and are investigating.
Washington and the Tarrant County Sheriff’s Office did not immediately respond to HuffPost’s inquiries.