The family of a mentally ill man shot and killed outside his house by Dallas police has released jarring video of the fatal confrontation as part of a federal civil rights lawsuit they filed against the department.
Depending on your point of view, the graphic footage shows cops badly bungling what should have been an routine attempt to subdue Jason Harrison, as his family contends, or it validates the officers' insistence that they were justified in killing the 38-year-old last summer.
Harrison, who was bipolar and schizophrenic, was gunned down by two officers responding to a domestic call on June 14, 2014 when he lunged at them with a screwdriver.
The family, who obtained video recorded by one officer's body camera, argues that the police used excessive force. "This is a perfect video for the Dallas Police Department to use in training as an example of what not to do," older brother Sean Harrison told The Dallas Morning News. "You don't yell at them — that only agitates them."
Shirley Harrison called cops because her son was menacing her. In the newly released video, she's seen greeting police at her Oak Cliff, Tex., home.
Jason Harrison is right behind her, casually holding a screw driver in his hand, the video shows.
"Bipolar and schizo," Shirley Harrison tells cops as she steps outside.
The routine call escalates in an instant.
Officers John Rogers and Andrew Hutchins order Harrison to drop the tool.
"Drop that for me, guy," one officer tells Harrison as his partner draws his weapon. "Drop it." Shirley Harrison can be heard yelling at her son to cooperate.
Harrison reportedly gets agitated; officers claim he lunges at them.
Jason Harrison, 38, was holding a screwdriver when he was shot by Dallas police. (Dallas Police Department) Three shots ring out.
The video shows Harrison fall on the driveway against the garage door.
"When you're dealing with somebody who is mentally ill, you're not supposed to agitate!" Harrison family's attorney Geoff Henley told KHOU. "You're not supposed to move fast! You're not supposed to inflame."
Dallas police have said the video backs up the officers' accounts of the shooting, which they said was done in self-defense.
The Dallas County District Attorney's Office is reviewing the case.
Date Posted: Wednesday, March 18th, 2015 , Total Page Views: 50841
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