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Judge clears police body camera video to be broadcast in Jason Walker shooting case

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Judge clears police body camera video to be broadcast in Jason Walker shooting case

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A judge on Thursday granted a North Carolina city police chief’s request to release recorded body-camera video of the shooting death of a black man by a sheriff’s deputy on leave .

Fayetteville Police Chief Gina Hawkins filed the petition in court on Tuesday. She wanted to post footage which she said will show exchanges between Fayetteville police officers and three witnesses at the scene of last Saturday’s fatal shooting of Jason Walker by Lt. Jeffrey Hash of the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office, reported The Fayetteville Observer.

According to the petition, two witnesses commented on social media, posted a video and spoke at a protest, garnering “significant public attention.”

Senior Resident Superior Court Judge Jim Ammons told the newspaper he approved the release “in the interests of justice.”

Under a North Carolina law passed in 2016, images from body and dash cameras are not made public. Anyone can, however, ask a court to order his release.

Protesters march from the Cumberland County Law Enforcement Center to the Fayetteville Police Department and return at a Justice for Jason Walker protest on January 9, 2022.Andrew Craft / USA Today Network

Fayetteville Police said Monday that a preliminary investigation had determined Walker, 37, “hit traffic and jumped onto a moving vehicle.” Hash shot Walker and then called 911, police said. Walker was pronounced dead at the scene.

In the 911 call, which was released by the Fayetteville Police Department and heard by NBC News, Hash said, “A man jumped on my vehicle and smashed my windshield. I just shot him. “

When the dispatcher asks Hash to identify himself, he says, “I’m a lieutenant in the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office.”

Ben Crump, the civil rights lawyer who represented George Floyd’s family and was retained by the Walker family, told a rally at a church in Fayetteville that Walker was the single father of a 14-year-old son .

“There are a lot of reasons black children have to grow up without their father,” Crump said. “But this reason is unacceptable. It is unacceptable that we have to tell this young boy that his father was shot needlessly, in an unjustified and unconstitutional manner by someone who was supposed to protect and serve him.

Floyd, a black man, was killed in 2020 by Minneapolis policeman Derek Chauvin, who rested his knee against Floyd’s neck for more than nine minutes as Floyd said he couldn’t breathe and eventually became soft. Chauvin was sentenced to 22 and a half years in prison for murder and manslaughter.

Walker’s family attended the rally, as did Floyd’s brother, Philonise, and a nephew.

Judge clears police body camera video to be broadcast in Jason Walker shooting case

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