D.C. police have released body-worn camera footage of an officer shooting a man, who appears to have been unarmed, on the morning of Feb. 10 in Southeast D.C., according to WTOP.
The Washington Post first reported that police had released body camera footage of the officer-involved shooting in Anacostia.
The officer, identified as Alex Rosario-Berroa, according to a letter by D.C. Deputy Mayor Lindsey Appiah, is shown firing point-blank at Steven Shaw, 38, of Northeast D.C. after police said he did not comply with the officer’s orders.
Before the shooting, authorities were in the area responding to a report of an assault that happened just before 10 a.m. in the 1300 block of Good Hope Road, according to a statement from D.C. police.
Upon arrival, they found a woman with non-life-threatening injuries, which she had suffered during an argument with a man who was later identified as 59-year-old Wallace Lewis of Southeast D.C. According to police, he hit the woman with a metal box and threatened her.
D.C. police said Lewis ran off before they arrived to investigate the assault.
Before police identified Lewis as a suspect, Rosario-Berroa was canvassing the area when he approached Shaw, who had entered the passenger side of his mother’s red vehicle with her in the driver’s seat. The police statement said Rosario-Berroa believed that Shaw, who is innocent of the assault, may have injured the woman.
In the video, footage shows Shaw rolling down his window and repeatedly saying, “It’s not me.”
Then, a dispatcher confirms to Rosario-Berroa an incorrect description of the assault suspect, the Washington Post reported.
Next, the footage shows the officer opening the vehicle’s door and demanding Shaw step out.
Shaw does not step out of the vehicle, which is when the officer says, “Stop reaching!” and grabs Shaw by his jacket.
The encounter then escalates and becomes more aggressive as the officer draws his gun, holding it against Shaw’s jacket, and fires a single shot. D.C. police’s statement said Shaw reached into his waistband but did not say whether Shaw had a firearm in his possession.
Police then handcuff Shaw before pulling him out of the vehicle. He was taken to a hospital for treatment.
Rosario-Berroa continues to yell “Stop reaching!” even as Shaw has his hands restrained behind him, with his mother reaching out in anguish in an attempt to push the officer away.
Police said in the statement that while receiving treatment, it was discovered that Shaw was in possession of cocaine.
Shaw was charged with possession with intent to distribute cocaine.
D.C. police have placed Rosario-Berroa on administrative leave, according to the police statement.
Lewis was charged with assault with significant bodily injury and threats to do bodily harm in the assault that preceded the shooting.
The shooting is pending review by the D.C. U.S. Attorney’s office. After the review, the Metropolitan Police Department’s Internal Affairs Bureau will investigate the case.
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