VIDEO: Activists Outraged After Video Shows Response To Suspect Reaching For Gun
Fort Worth, TX – The Fort Worth police released additional bodycam footage of the fatal shooting of JaQuavion Slaton in response to criticism from the community that officers had not tried to de-escalate the situation before firing their weapons (video below).
Police were already looking for the 20-year-old Slaton in connection with an aggravated assault on a woman at University of Texas – Tyler in April when they responded to a 911 call about him at about 4 p.m. on June 9, WFAA reported.
Fort Worth Interim Police Chief Ed Krauss said the 911 caller told police Slaton was "yelling at a family member who was too afraid to call police and that he had a knife."
When police arrived, Slaton and his cousin took off running and police officers followed, WFAA reported.
Fort Worth police released initial bodycam video of the shooting faster than usual in an effort to head off violent protests after outraged community activists demanded action.
That bodycam video showed Slaton and his cousin took off into backyards and over fences as they fled from police.
At one point in the video, Slaton had a black gun in his hand as he ran from officers.
His cousin was caught by police first, the video showed.
Officers located Slaton hiding inside a white pickup truck, the video showed.
The officers surrounded the cab of the pickup truck and ordered Slaton to put his hands up.
Slaton failed to follow or respond to officers’ commands, the video showed.
Then one of the officers said “he’s reaching” just before multiple officers opened fire on the truck.
A loaded handgun was found inside the truck with Slaton, WFAA reported.
The newly-released dashcam video and bodycam video from seven more officers released on Tuesday clearly showed that officers only had seconds to try and make the arrest of the armed suspect.
One bodycam video showed an officer had just started to break out the driver’s window on the truck when officers saw the suspect move and opened fire.
"At the end of the day, these officers are having to figure out if the threat is neutralized," Fort Worth Police Officers Association President Manny Ramirez said, according to FOX News. "If that suspect is going to raise that gun again. I mean, they don’t know that, and it takes time to figure that out.”
At least two of the bodycams showed a movement that could be interpreted as a weapon firing inside the truck just a split second before the officers opened fire.
“Is that enough time to, in your brain, formulate a plan and say 'We should step back'? Is that enough time before the suspect presented his weapon?” Ramirez asked. “And that point, that’s whenever they were forced to take action.”
The medical examiner’s report found that there was a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the right side of Slaton’s head, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported.
However, the medical examiner has not determined whether that shot was intentional or accidental.
The report also found two high-velocity gunshot wounds, one to the upper anterior chest and the other to the upper right shoulder, from .223-caliber rounds, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported.
Slaton also had 9 mm gunshot wounds to his upper right neck, posterior neck at the base of his head, and upper right arm.
The three officers who fired their weapons during the incident were placed on administrative leave as is protocol for that department while the officer-involved shooting is investigated, FOX News reported.
The Internal Affairs Unit’s investigation will be given to the Tarrant County District Attorney’s Office for a grand jury review, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported.
Watch bodycam video of the incident below. WARNING - Graphic Content.