You may have heard last night about the group of protesters who gathered in front of the Washington DC Mayor’s house over the police shooting of Deon Kay. Thankfully, as far as I know, there was no rioting or violence.
DC Metro police have promptly released bodycam footage of the shooting, and it shows Kay brandishing a firearm right before police shot him:
The DC police did it right: they got the bodycam footage and the facts of the incident out ASAP. They made sure to get out in front of the media speculation and social media outrage mobs.
The DC Police clearly did not want this to get out of hand, although I am surprised it hasn’t yet. Last night I was fully expecting another week of riots and chaos. I really didn’t think the facts of the case would matter to the people who just want to cause mayhem.
A still shot shows the gun in his hand:
And the Metro police statement:
It seems like that’s exactly what happened in the body can footage.
Initial reports said police shot Kay in the back, but we now see that was not true.
I’ve seen some people online saying Kay was trying to throw down his gun and police were too quick to shoot him.
Maybe. But the officer saw the gun and made a split-second decision. Would any of the people questioning the officer have waited to see if the fleeing suspect with a gun was actually going to use it, if they were in the officer’s shoes?
You don’t have time to wait and see if he’s going to shoot at you. Of course, if this would’ve happened, then this wouldn’t have been a national story at all, because the media doesn’t care about cops killed on duty.
If Kay really was preparing to throw down his weapon, then why did he run and why did he keep the the gun in his possession? Cops approached the car and that was when Kay ran off with the gun in his possession. Doing that confirms, in the police’s eyes, that you are a threat and don’t intend to go down without a fight.
No matter how clear-cut these videos may seem, others will see it a different way. The country is now split between people willing to give the cops the benefit of the doubt, and people who will never give the cops the benefit of the doubt.
People will scrutinize this video six ways to Sunday and play armchair quarterback using the benefit of hindsight.
But from what I saw, the cop made a split-second decision when he saw the gun. He didn’t want to wait and see if Kay was actually planning on using the gun.
It sucks that an 18 year old kid lost his life, but when you do not comply with officers, all bets are off. You are putting your life in jeopardy the moment you stop complying with the police.