North Carolina's Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department (CMPD) released two videos from the fatal shooting of Michael Laney, a black man, at the hands of a white officer in 2012.
The footage, released on a judge’s order, shows Laney being chased by two officers.
The officers, looking for a robbery suspect, tackle Laney as he pulls into his mother’s yard. They tackled him outside the range of the cameras.
They claim Laney reached for a gun inside his waistband, which is why they felt compelled to use deadly force. Officer Anthony Holzhauer shot Laney in the head.
A prosecutor ruled Holtzhauer was justified in shooting Laney as he struggled with another officer, who yelled that Laney had a gun.
Laney's family holds the shooting was anything but justified.
According to Charlotte Observer, in 2015, the newspaper "filed an open records request with CMPD in an attempt to obtain the video in the Laney case as part of a review of police shootings. CMPD turned down the request several weeks later, saying the footage was not a public record under state law and authorities were under no legal obligation to release such material."
The Observer, however, petitioned the court to get the video released this month under a new state law regulating their release.
The police department had to release the footage.
Laney’s brother Antoine Laney said he was disappointed because he had hoped the videos would show exactly what had happened to cause police to shoot his brother in the head at close range.
Police brutality in the United States is unfortunately not a new phenomenon. In fact, the number of people killed by police every year in the United States is far higher than those killed by police in every other developed country.
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