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Bodycam footage shows events that led up to police officer — accused of using excessive force — fatally shooting man trying to stab him
Image source: YouTube screenshot

Bodycam footage shows events leading up to police officer — accused of using excessive force — fatally shooting man trying to stab him

The Raleigh, North Carolina, police department has released body camera footage of a January incident in which an officer fatally shot a man during an altercation on the side of the highway.

What are the details?

According to local reports, authorities arrived to a call for an automobile accident on Interstate 440 along Raleigh.

The suspect, identified as 43-year-old Daniel Turcios, was standing on the side of the road when police arrived on the scene. According to Charlotte's News & Observer, Turcios' wife and two children were sitting on the ground beside the vehicle at the time.

Raleigh Police Chief Estella Patterson said that the department had received several emergency calls reporting an accident and that someone was intoxicated and "armed with a knife" at the crash site.

While at the scene, a witness to the accident said that Turcios — who was "probably intoxicated" — ran him off the road and had been driving dangerously in the moments that led up to the crash.

Turcios was said to have overheard the exchange between the unnamed witness and first responders and in Spanish asked the witness, “What did I do to you, man?”

Turcios quickly became enraged as a responding officer attempted to speak with him, and insisted, “I was just driving! I was just driving calmly!”

At that point, Turcios walked over to his family and engaged in a heated exchange with his wife, eventually pulling out a knife and wildly gesturing with it in front of police.

Turcios' wife attempted to take the knife from him, but he pulled away from her, grabbed his 7-year-old son's hand, and began walking away.

Turcios' wife quickly followed and was able to wrest her son away from Turcios as officers continued to demand the suspect drop his knife.

As soon as he was safely away from the child, officers deployed a Taser, striking him in the back and forcing him to the ground.

He quickly recovered and jumped to his feet, knife still in hand, while he began swinging the knife at a nearby officer.

Despite being hit with the Taser, Turcios continued to advance on officers and began swinging the knife at a first responder — that's when Officer A. A. Smith fired on Turcios five times, killing him.

You can watch the age-restricted video on YouTube here.

What else?

Activists are now saying that police were too aggressive with Turcios — who was reported to have a limited understanding of English and who was reportedly disoriented at the time.

"Daniel Turcios' life mattered and he definitely did not deserve to die," activist Kerwin Pittman told WNCN-TV. "At what point do you de-escalate the situation."

Activist groups have demanded charges against the officers involved in the incident, the News & Observer reported.

Activist Dawn Blagrove said the the bodycam footage showed how police “took a calm situation and turned it violent and deadly.”

“The initial taser was completely unwarranted,” Blagrove said, according to the News & Observer. “He was tased in the back with his arms at his side. Criminal charges are warranted.”

Officials, however, say that Turcios' demeanor and refusal to comply with officers justified the Tasing and eventual shooting.

Bob Young, a retired New York City police officer, told WNCN that using the Taser was "textbook" use of force.

“This is a very dangerous situation right here,” Young said. “There’s maybe five or six feet, that’s within the kill zone with a knife.”

Regardless, Young added, it's "terrible" to be involved in such an incident for "all parties."

“The officer is going to have to live with taking a life and the family’s going to have to live with the fact that they don’t have a loved one.

The North Carolina State Bureau of Investigations is leading the investigation into shooting.

Activist and law enforcement expert analyze Raleigh police bodycam video of I-440 deadly shootingwww.youtube.com

(H/T: The Police Tribune)

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