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Video footage of the Dallas Police Department's fatal shooting of a mentally ill man holding a screwdriver has finally been released.
According to the Dallas Observer, officers Andrew Hutchins and John Rogers shot and killed 38-year-old Jason Harrison at his home last June. Harrison's mother called police, who claim she told them that he was making "violent threats." The Observer notes that his family got the footage in October after filing a federal civil rights lawsuit:
That day, Harrison’s mother called 911 to ask the police for help bringing her son, who was bipolar and schizophrenic, to Parkland Hospital. He was in a crisis because he was off his medication, his family said.
In the 911 call, Harrison’s mother described her son’s mental disorders, and those details were relayed to the officers by dispatchers, Henley said. The video shows Harrison’s mother walking calmly out of the house in the 200 block of Glencairn Drive seconds prior to the shooting.
He’s just off the chain, she is heard telling the officers. Bipolar schizo.
The family’s lawsuit claims Harrison did not pose a threat, in part because the screwdriver he held was a small one used for computers. He had never been violent before, Sean Harrison said.
The shooting was captured by a body camera, and Dallas police say it substantiates the self-defense claims officers Hutchins and Rogers. In their lawsuit, Harrison's family alleges that he was no threat to the officers due to the size of the screwdriver.
Yesterday, police announced that their internal investigation had been completed, yet neglected to make the details public. The case has been forwarded to a Dallas County, and both officers have returned to duty.
Below is the full video, but be advised that it's graphic.
[via Dallas Observer]