The newly-released body camera footage shows police in Milwaukee chasing Jerry Smith Jr., who was 19 at the time, and shooting the unarmed teen on a rooftop on Aug. 31, 2017.
Smith reportedly he ran out of fear of the police.
Daniel Storm, a forensic investigator who is working with Smith’s lawyer, told WITI what happened next:
An unarmed man had committed no crime, no criminal history, no drugs and is getting on the ground with his fingers spread when the officer opened fire. Lucky to be alive because the one bullet just grazed his head.
According to police statements, Officer Melvin Finkley fired twice because he “perceived Mr. Smith was reaching for a weapon concealed behind the air conditioning unit.”
Meanwhile, Officer Adam Stahl heard the first shot but perceived it as (Smith) firing at Officer Finkley. He fired once because he “feared for Officer Finkley’s safety and for his own.”
Both perceptions and fears were wrong, but the Milwaukee County District Attorney’s office ruled the shooting was justified. so Storn wants the U.S. attorney to look at the shooting:
We’re asking the U.S. Attorney’s office to now look at this video, make an independent decision or recommend to District Attorney Chisholm to submit this to a grand jury.
[Smith’s] right leg, he has partial use of it. We can only hope that the US attorney would get involved because we may have a violation of civil rights. The people in the community need to see that cops are as accountable as they are.
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