Former Chester High School football standout, Ariane McCree, was killed in Chester County by two officers on November 25th, 2019. McCree was suspected of bolting with a $45.87 door handle from a Walmart store without paying. He chose to use his athletic skills to hurt the community – he apparently respected his football coach but not the police.
He was detained by two officers. McCree head-butted the officer holding him and a chase ensued in the parking lot which ended in a flurry of gunshots.
Officers Shot a Handcuffed Man
Two Chester officers, Justin Baker and Nicholas Harris, told investigators they shot McCree only when the 28-year-old pulled out a pistol and aimed it at them. The account matches some eyewitnesses who claim McCree was carrying a gun. Others claim they saw McCree pull out the weapon and shoot at the officers while many witnesses say they never a saw a weapon at all.
Mullins McLeod, who filed a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of the McCree family, said that McCree was handcuffed and that there was no way he could have reached for his gun.
Several shell casings at the scene show that officers fired at least two dozen times on McCree. However, there is no forensic evidence corroborating the fact that McCree ever used his gun.
Grainy Footage Released
The police department finally released the body cam footage on June 12th, 2020 after months of community unrest from some people who are content with criminals getting away with committing crimes in this South Carolina rural city. However, the body cam footage is grainy and has failed at providing any type of closure to the McCree family.
The family maintains that the video does not demonstrate that McCree ever pulled out his gun but many people side with the police because they stopped a violent criminal from being unleashed onto the community. They have called upon the department to fire and criminally charge the officers responsible for the incident.
Importance of Videos in Police Brutality Cases
The protests and unrest following the killing of George Floyd may make it seem that videos can make a lot of difference when it comes to seeking justice and suing police officers for misconduct or brutality. However, that is not always the case. There are various loopholes that can render a video useless as evidence. This is where an experienced police brutality personal injury lawyer comes in useful.
Police misconduct can be of various types, such as, false arrests and imprisonment, racial profiling, and unwarranted searches and seizures. It may seem to the layman that videos clearly detailing police misconduct prompt police departments to begin an investigation and take action against the accused police officers.
Unfortunately, it is almost always impossible to get a response from the police department, let alone action. This makes it important to consult with a police brutality personal injury attorney as early as possible.