After fatally shooting a 17-year-old girl in the lobby of their police station last week, police in Longview, Texas have released video of the incident.
Questions surrounded the death of Kristiana Coignard at the hands of the Longview Police Department, prompting Coignard's family to allege that police were hiding something. According to the Associated Press, authorities say the three officers opened fire at Coignard after she lunged at one of them with a butcher knife, noting that a Taser did not deter her:
The video shows Coignard entering the Longview police station lobby and using the lobby phone. There is no audio, but Brian said she requested help but would not say why.
Officer Glenn Derr was the first officer to respond. When he approached the teenager, she held up her hand, which had "I have a gun" written on it, Brian said.
The video shows Derr struggling with the girl and trying to subdue her. At one point, the officer throws her to the ground. She's lying on the floor and Derr is kneeling, holding her down, when the officer suddenly gets up and steps back. Brian said Derr broke away when he saw Coignard reaching for a butcher knife in her waistband.
Officer Gene Duffie then arrives, followed by Officer Grace Bagley. Coignard is then seen charging at Derr. Brian said Duffie fired his Taser, then Derr and Bagley quickly followed with gunshots.
Longview Police Chief Don Dingler told the Associated Press that the officers were justified in their use of force. "All the patrol officers carry Tasers, plus expandable batons," he explained. " I think you'll see from the video that the time was a factor. There was no time for the officers to use other means."
Kristie Brian, spokeswoman for the Longview Police Department, said that the officers involved have all been placed on administrative leave. Coignard's family said that the she had struggled with mental depression and bipolar disorder.
Footage of the incident can be seen below, but be advised that it is graphic.
[via Associated Press]