LA Sheriff's Dept. Says It Will Release Body Cam Video Of Deputy's Fatal Shooting Of Willowbrook Man
The L.A. County Sheriff’s Department says it will be releasing body camera footage from a deputy’s fatal shooting of a man in Willowbrook on Friday — but not immediately.
A deputy shot 25-year-old Fred Williams III after a brief foot chase. The department said in a statement that deputies conducting a routine patrol check at Mona Park spotted Williams holding a firearm, and that he ran away when he saw them.
Home surveillance video captured Williams fleeing up a driveway, followed by a deputy. Williams' hand is at his waist, but it's unclear whether he's holding a gun.
Only the deputy is visible in the video at the moment he opens fire. The department says the deputy started shooting because Williams was "pointing his firearm at him," and that investigators recovered a semiautomatic handgun from the scene.
But Cliff Smith of the Coalition for Community Control Over the Police said Williams was trying to climb a wall to escape when he was shot.
"When his body gets hit with the bullets, his body falls over the top of the wall into the next property," Smith told a news conference Sunday.
The department said in a tweet that it will release the body cam video after it has completed “critical interviews” and analyzed the evidence, and the coroner has completed his report.
That suggests that it could be at least several weeks before we see the footage. State law now requires law enforcement to release video of officer shootings within 45 days.
An agency can delay release beyond that time if it demonstrates that showing it to the public would interfere with an ongoing investigation.
This is the first major test of the Sheriff's Department's use of body cams, which it only started deploying this month.
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