VIDEO: Bodycam Shows 'Unarmed Black Man Shot' In Utah Is Justified

SnarkyCop

Bodycam video shows the police shooting of Elijah Smith, and shows that the shooting is justified.

West Valley City, Utah - Video has been released showing the officer-involved shooting of Elijah Smith, after he broke into a house with children inside (video below.)

The shooting has been pushed as an "unarmed black man" who was shot after taking his hands out of his pocket as officers told him, but the video shows that this is not true.

The incident started at around 3:30 p.m. on April 8, when Smith allegedly stole from a cell phone store near 3400 South on Redwood Road, according to The Salt Lake Tribune.

Officers were pursuing Smith, and he broke into a home where he was confronted by the homeowner. The homeowner confronted Smith and told him to leave, and he did.

Two cell phones were later recovered from that home, but police have not confirmed if they were the phones stolen from the cell phone store.

An officer saw Smith leave and go into another house, which was occupied by three children, - ages 9, 10 and 13 - according to The Salt Lake Tribune. There were no adults home at the time.

The bodycam video starts when the officers arrived and the door was answered by the 13-year-old, who told officers that, “There’s some, some guy here."

Officers entered the home and confronted Smith as he hid in the garage. The officers repeatedly ordered Smith to show his hands, and he raised his left hand while appearing to stick his right hand in his pocket.

The officers ordered Smith numerous times to show his hands. Then Smith took his hand out of his pocket, pulled up the bottom of his hooded sweatshirt, and then reached back down.

An officer fired three times, and one of the bullets fatally struck Smith.

The police department said that a "modified" screwdriver was found on scene which they believe Smith had in his pocket, but they did not say how it was modified.

After the shooting, the narrative started that he was shot while complying with officers' commands.

“I see a terrified young man with his hand in the air, desperately and clearly trying to put up his other hand exactly as police have demanded. I see someone who is trapped after running for his life, who knows that at any moment, the violent racism of Utah’s police could take his life, as indeed it does,” Dave Newlin with Utahns Against Police Brutality, wrote, according to The Salt Lake Tribune.

However, the bodycam video shows that officers had every reason to believe that Smith was drawing a weapon.

Smith originally came out from hiding with his hands outside of his pockets.

After he was ordered at least 10 times to show his hands, he put his right hand into his pocket, while raising his left hand. This initial act of doing the opposite of what officers told him is clearly a cause for concern.

Then, Smith began to pull his hand up and along his body. This movement is indicative of drawing a weapon, because rather than just clearing his pocket and putting his hands up, he rode his hand up his side to a high position, which is generally needed to clear a weapon from a waistband.

Even then, the officers did not shoot. Video shows that Smith had pulled his hooded sweatshirt away from his waistband, in a move commonly associated with clearing a waistband to gain access to a weapon. The video is not clear, but it appears that there may have been an object in Smith's hand at that time.

Even then, officers didn't shoot, and Smith would have lived if he kept raising his hands. Instead, Smith suddenly reached his hand back down towards his waistband. This occurred after Smith had already raised his hand to chest level.

Smith was not actually armed with a firearm, although the screwdriver could be used as a deadly weapon. However, whether he was actually armed is largely irrelevant.

The law does not care if Smith was armed or not. What matters is if it was reasonable for officers to believe that Smith posed an immediate deadly threat.

By law, the reasonableness of the shooting must be considered from the perspective of officers at the scene, considering their training and experience, and cannot be judged in hindsight.

A trained officer would have recognized Smith's motion as the same motion to draw a weapon, and Smith sealed his fate when he suddenly reached back for his waistband.

However, Smith's family is calling the shooting a case of excessive force.

“The reason why we run, especially the black people, is because we are afraid,” Smith's grandfather told KSTU. “We know what you’re going to do when you catch us. Our life is gone.”

You can see the video of the shooting below. WARNING - Graphic Content:

Comments (30)
No. 1-30
BWS001
BWS001

Funny only the interactions with police when you don't do what you are told end with issues... Maybe don't commit crime and you won't have to fear the police..

RunCop
RunCop

Why do liberal pukes always defend the criminals?

ProGODProUSA
ProGODProUSA

Just a trivial question here - what was that which came in through the pet door - was it a cat or was it very small dog?

ProGODProUSA
ProGODProUSA

OK, thanks, J-M-T. I kept pausing and going back to watch the movement of the little critter and couldn't decide.

Kwhitng
Kwhitng

The reason why we run, especially the black people, is because we are afraid,” Smith's grandfather told KSTU. “We know what you’re going to do when you catch us. Our life is gone.” How about you just don't commit crimes?

Burgers Allday
Burgers Allday

Good shoot.

spclopr8tr
spclopr8tr

Another thug takes a permanent dirt nap. Next.

Truth
Truth

None of this would have occurred if the punk didn’t do the crime...pretty sad when it’s blamed on race instead of logic.

Black Rifle
Black Rifle

Poor damn car didn't do anything and got shot just sitting there safe in its garage, the idiot however got schooled on "What not to do with the Police"!

SeniorCitizen
SeniorCitizen

Your attitude is pure disgusting. I sure hope you're not a cop.

Aaron57
Aaron57

A suspected criminal breaks into an occupied house, does the opposite of what the police tell him to, and he got shot for it. "Thug" is probably one of the nicer terms spclopr8tr could have used...

NTPD935Ret
NTPD935Ret

Again... the active word is “comply”.
Newlin should be suited by the City and the Police department for his claim that the police are ”violent racism” comment. I am sure he could never prove that false accusation.

gigi2
gigi2

Looks to me like someone trying to get shot. I'm convinced many of these idiots are doing this mess on purpose, you just can't be this stupid.

Rascal1966
Rascal1966

Hey grandpa, how about not running or better yet, "Don't commit the crime"!!! Instead of accepting responsibility for your own actions, you want to put the blame on someone else. You don't want to accept that you failed as a parent and grandparent and that you raised an POS thug!!

Pack
Pack

“My baby was a good boy and didn’t do nuffin”

DWayne63
DWayne63

I wonder if that dog understands how close he came to puppy paradise.

Dangerdoug
Dangerdoug

The dog complied and is still alive.

GK18
GK18

That POS made his bed and now he gets to sleep forever. Great job goes out to the police for making sure the citizens in this incident were safe.

LEO0301
LEO0301

This story just helps to reinforce my belief that the word 'racist' is the most overused word in the English language. It is used by some people every single time they do something wrong and get caught.

nomorecommonsense
nomorecommonsense

Honestly, it's just sad that this intruder is going to become a poster boy for black lives matter. They just scrape the bottom of the barrel and act like it's only black people who are nervous around the police, which is incorrect. I just recently had an interaction with an officer, and during the entire time we were talking, I made sure they knew everything I was doing. I wanted to smoke a cigarette because I was nervous, so I told them I was going to get my lighter out of my pants. I slowly reached down while keeping my other hand out, and slowly pulled my lighter out. They were perfectly fine with it. People are always saying police are out to kill black people, but the way I see it, it's just a case of people who are willing to do the crime, but not the time. If people would just man up and accecpt the consequences of their actions, they would be just fine.

Bluesteel1911
Bluesteel1911

Good kil !

RetFF
RetFF

Why it is so hard to understand?? The police officers have found you in a garage where you don't belong. They have you covered. They tell you to Stop and raise both hands. And you do something STUPID like that. If he had stopped and raised his hands, this story wouldn't have gotten anything but local coverage. Why is it so hard to understand this??

usmcm14
usmcm14

So simple "COMPLY OR DIE" It's so simple a caveman can do but criminals can't !!!! LMFAO

mauiisl
mauiisl

The suspect absolutely appeared to be pulling a gun. The cop was completely correct in using deadly force.
Further, Dave Newlin with Utahns Against Police Brutality, is not only a shitty writer, he's a world-class Drama Queen. And a liar.

GlenoUnderhill
GlenoUnderhill

That's just so sad... he knew he what he was doing and he chose to be act like a tough guy and ignore the police. The police acted accordingly based on the man's actions. No reasonable person would have done differently.

Blue Lives Supporter
Blue Lives Supporter

The Grandfather said “We know what you’re going to do when you catch us. Our life is gone.” So why are you steeling to start with? Get a job!!!!! Quit living off others. Take some pride in your life!!!!!


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