WARNING! GRAPHIC VIDEO CONTENT
Police in Little Rock, Arkansas, released disturbing dashcam video capturing the chilling moment a teen suspect was fatally shot to death after firing a gun on police.
According to ArkansasOnline, North Little Rock Police Chief Mike Davis said at a news conference that the release of the dashboard-camera video was made necessary after “a great deal of misinformation” spread via social media.
“I fear that misinformation gets out that says the subject wasn’t armed, that the subject didn’t shoot – that is not the case,” Chief Davis said.
“He was armed and we, in fact, had to take action because of that. I want people to see what happened.”
The following video contains violent content showing a man being shot:
In a police statement posted on Twitter, the police public information officer described the January 7 incident.
— North Little Rock PD (@NLRPD) January 7, 2018
The statement said that around 1 a.m., officers stopped a car containing with three individuals after the car was traveling at “excessive speeds.”
Because the officers were not wearing bodycams and all of the audio and video came from the dashcam, it is not always clear in the video which of the three officers are speaking to the driver and his two passengers. But for most of the recording, the conversation is very congenial, although an officer makes it clear that feels like the teens are acting a little bit strangely. Just before the scene turns violent, there is a friendly discussion between what appears to be officers and the suspect who was later shot about the suspect’s Nike sneakers.
But when that rear-seat passenger, Charles Smith, 17, comes into the frame, the tone changes dramatically. The officers had cautioned him to stop reaching for something, and he presumably did not comply. The officer and Smith can be seen struggling and they fall to the ground.
“I can’t go to jail,” Smith can be heard on the video.
“Get your (expletive) hand out,” an officer warns Smith, whose hands were out of camera range.
The three officers dogpile on Smith, attempting to subdue him when one of the officers suddenly yells, “It’s a f***ing gun!”
According to the police statement, Smith pulled out the weapon from his waistband. He quickly got off a shot that nearly struck his two friends sitting on the curb.
“(Smith) is then observed engaging the slide back on the gun and again firing at officers, almost striking one officer in the face,” Chief Smith said in the news conference.
As seen in the video, the three officers returned fire, killing Smith who was later pronounced dead at the scene.
“No officer wants to be put in this position but these officers were left with no other choice but to protect their lives and return fire,” Chief Smith said.
A lawyer for Smith’s family, Willard Proctor Jr., showed the police footage to the family’s relatives.
“We’re not at a point where we can make any conclusions,” he told Arkansas Online.
An internal police probe is expected to determine if the officers followed proper departmental protocol.
CrimeOnline will continue to provide updates on this developing story.
[Feature image: YouTube screenshot/Charles Smith and Little Rock officers]