A policeman in Columbus, Ohio, did not have his body camera fully activated during the fatal shooting of a 47-year-old black man on Tuesday morning, officials said.
The incident is the second police shootout this month, after 23-year-old Casey Goodson Jr. fatally shot by local deputy sheriff Jason Meade. Goodson’s death was considered homicide, and provoked protests in town.
The Columbus Department Public Security said Tuesday’s shooting was itself captured on video due to a 60-second “look back” feature on cameras. However, this function does not capture audio, which means that you do not know what was said before or during the shoot.
Available images of Tuesday’s incident show the victim walking towards the policeman with a cell phone in his left hand, but his right hand was not visible, the Department said.
An officer fired his weapon, hitting the man. The officer was not identified.
The footage from the responding policeman’s body camera shows the man walking towards the policeman with a cell phone in his left hand, but his right hand was not visible.
The Department said a preliminary investigation indicates that the victim was visiting someone at his home. The filming also shows a “delay in providing first aid to the man”.
The victim was not identified.
Updated statement of @ColumbusPolice on Tuesday’s shooting with police: pic.twitter.com/9E19M0iLPY
– Columbus Department of Public Security (@ColumbusSafety) December 22, 2020
Columbus Police Chief Thomas Quinlan said in a statement that he ordered the officer to be released from his duties pending criminal and internal investigations.
He noted that the division has invested millions of dollars in body camera images “for the express purpose of creating a video and audio recording of these types of encounters”.
“They provide transparency and accountability and protect the public, as well as officials, when the facts are at stake,” said Quain.
The mayor of Columbus said it was unacceptable that the policeman’s body camera was not fully turned on.
“This morning we heard about the death of another black man at the hands of the police,” tweeted Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther on Tuesday. “Our community is still raw and exhausted from the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and, more recently, Casey Goodson Jr., right here in Columbus. ”
“The police officer involved did not turn his camera on – which is unacceptable. The police officer involved was released from his duties, demanding that he hand over his badge and weapon, depriving him of police powers pending the outcome of criminal and internal investigations. ”
The police officer involved did not turn his camera on – which is unacceptable. The police officer involved was released from office, forcing him to hand over his badge and weapon, which deprived him of police powers pending the outcome of criminal and internal investigations.
– Mayor Andrew Ginther (@MayorGinther) December 22, 2020