Newly-released police body cam video shows police killing Elijah James Smith in the garage of a house in West Valley City, Utah on April 8.
Smith, who was accused of stealing cell phones, was executed while trying to obey police commands to raise his hands.
Smith raised his left hand, and raised his right elbow while pulling his right hand out of his pocket when police executed him during the 24-second incident, notes The Salt Lake Tribune.
Smith did not have any weapons, only a screwdriver.
There were three children — ages 9, 10 and 13 — inside the home when the police executed Smith.
A 13-year-old boy opened the door, and let the police in.
Smith was suspected of stealing cell phones from a local store; two cell phones were found at the house.
Police Chief Colleen Jacobs said “To my knowledge, they have video from the store, and it was Mr. Smith who was in the store.”
The officer, who executed Smith, is on administrative leave while the police department investigates its own officer and the incident.
Dave Newlin, of Utahns Against Police Brutality, accused the police of racial profiling in an email to The Salt Lake Tribune:
Once again, it’s clear that police will see whatever they want to see in order to justify violence against people of color.
I see a terrified young man with his hand in the air, desperately and clearly trying to put up his other hand exactly as police have demanded.
I see someone who is trapped after running for his life, who knows that at any moment, the violent racism of Utah’s police could take his life, as indeed it does.
(Source: The Salt Lake Tribune)