Videos of body camera released Tuesday show a 21-year-old man moving inside a parked car moments before police shot and killed him outside a McDonald’s restaurant in Maryland.
At a media briefing, Montgomery County Police Chief Marcus Jones told a 28-minute collection of bodycam video clips and a recorded phone call between police and the driver, Ryan LeRoux, before July 16th shooting in Gaithersburg. But the boss expressed no opinion on whether the shooting on Friday night was justified.
Prosecutors in a nearby county are investigating.
Jones, who did not take questions from reporters, said police recovered a gun from LeRoux’s lap after four officers opened fire on him. The chief did not say whether investigators believe LeRoux raised a weapon or posed a threat to police during a standoff that lasted about 30 minutes.
Jones showed segments of videos that captured the footage from the perspective of an officer’s body camera and a body camera that officers had placed in a driving window closer to LeRoux’s sport utility vehicle.
“Their cameras do not replace the human eye and what the officers saw that night,” Jones said.
An officer responded to a violation call stating that LeRoux had ordered food, refused to pay for it and would not move his SUV from the driveway, according to police. The officer immediately sent radio that he saw a gun on the front passenger seat and repeatedly ordered LeRoux under gun to raise his hands and slowly unlock one of his doors with his left hand.
“He’s awake, but he’s not listening to my commands,” the officer said over his radio. “He has his hands on his phone. The gun is in the passenger seat. Get coverage!”
Officers hiding behind a shield approached LeRoux’s SUV and placed “stoppers” in front of the vehicle. Police placed the camera in the drive-thru window to get a better vantage point for the gun in his car, Jones said.
A woman from the police departmental control center spoke to LeRoux over his cell phone. LeRoux said he saw the officers and compiled with their commands to raise his hands.
“I can hear them fine,” he said.
“We’re just trying to help you here,” the woman told LeRoux, asking him to stretch his hands out of a window.
Jones said officers did not see LeRoux’s hands up or out the window.
A police sergeant later called LeRoux.
“What’s going on, man?” asked the sergeant. “Hey? He was just hanging on to me.”
The video from the drive-thru window shows LeRoux sitting up from a reclining position moments before the shot exploded the window.
“He’s up!” at least two officers shouted just before the shooting.
A crisis dealer was on his way to the scene but did not arrive before the shooting, Jones said.
Leroux died at a hospital. An overcrowded Glock 47 was recovered from the scene, according to the boss.
The four officers involved in the incident were put on administrative leave, a standard procedure after a shooting. All four officers are white and LeRoux was black, police spokeswoman Shiera Goff said.
Howard County State’s Attorney’s Office will review the case under an agreement with its counterpart in nearby Montgomery County.
The Silver Spring Justice Coalition said in a statement that it planned to hold a press briefing on Tuesday with LeRoux’s family in a park in Gaithersburg. Police showed body camera footage to LeRoux’s father, Paul, who said the video did not show his son taking the gun or pointing at police, according to the coalition.
“The police chief has also said that he is not able to confirm that Ryan held a gun and / or pointed it at officers. As such, the police chief has admitted that he is not able to explain why Ryan was shot several times. times, “said the coalition statement.
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