Authorities in Boston on Monday released video of the police shooting death of a man whom officials say was planning to behead cops in a terror attack.
Usaama Rahim was fatally shot in Boston's Roslindale neighborhood June 2 by police who were trying to question him, Boston Police Commissioner William Evans said. Instead, Rahim started advancing with a "large military knife," Evans said.
Rahim had been under 24-hour surveillance by the Joint Terrorism Task Force, which said its officers moved in last week in fear that an attack was imminent. Another individual, David Wright, was taken into custody in connection.
The video shows a man authorities identified as Rahim in a parking lot before members of the Joint Terrorism Task Force converge on him. The officers begin to back away as Rahim advances on them. He's then shot and falls to the ground. The figures are blurry and indistinct; the knife is not visible, though the video dispels the theory that had surfaced that Rahim was shot in the back as he was running away.
Rahim had also reportedly targeted conservative activist Pamela Geller, who organized the "draw Muhammad" cartoon contest in Garland, Texas, attacked by gunmen last month.
Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel Conley said the decision to publicly release the video before the conclusion of the investigation was so it could "help illuminate the facts."
Conley cautioned that the video is "simply one piece of evidence among many and this investigation is very active."
Evans defended officers' use of lethal force, "knowing the intent that we had knowledge of."
"We approached this individual just to question him," he said. "As you can see, and what we have shown ... [Rahim had] a large military knife, put that in your mind."
"I don't think at this point he was going to go down very easy. There were multiple, multiple requests for him to put down that weapon," Evans said, noting that Rahim was "well within striking distance of one of the officers."
Evans said officers reacted quickly in a situation that unraveled fast.
"He was intent on taking out somebody and it was either us or them," Evans said.