Harrisville, UT – A man who was shot by police after he refused to drop two knives wants police to change the way they do things (video below).
The incident occurred on the evening of March 23 after neighbors called the police to report a couple arguing inside and outside their apartment, KSL reported.
Officers arrived to find the door of the apartment unlocked and the door jam torn up as if the door had been broken open.
Police knocked, which pushed the door open, but none of the occupants could immediately be seen in the apartment, the video showed.
Officers repeatedly called out and announced their presence.
“Harrisville Police, anybody in here?” an officer called out.
“Hello, anybody inside the apartment? Harrisville police!” he announced again. “Come to the door and talk to us.”
After about a minute, 28-year-old Jamal Bell came from the back of the apartment carrying a knife in each hand, the video showed.
“What do you got man?” an officer asked. “Put those down.”
Bell didn’t reply but continued walking at the officers, who were backing up and away from the apartment doorway, the video showed.
He walked across the threshold of the doorway and continued walking toward the officers, the video showed.
Officers repeatedly ordered him to drop the knives but he ignored them and instead turned around and headed back into his apartment.
An officer deployed his Taser at Bell but the man blocked the prongs with the door and then backed further into his apartment, the video showed.
Then he stood with his arms out to either side and shook his head “no” in response to commands to drop the knives.
Multiple officers yelled at Bell to drop the weapon and one warned that he would shoot the man if he did not drop his knife.
“Take another step forward and I will shoot you,” the officer said in the video.
Instead of following officers’ commands, Bell took a look back over his shoulder and then turned and walked several steps deliberately toward the officers, the video showed.
Officers opened fire and Bell was hit multiple times.
Police fired a total of 15 shots at the suspect and 11 found their mark, according to KSL.
Bell survived the shooting and is now confined to a wheelchair.
He was charged with four counts of assault on a police officer, KSL reported.
Weber County Attorney Chris Allred determined that the officers’ shooting of Bell was justified, but Bell wants the county attorney to reconsider his decision.
On Sunday, he and a small group of Black Lives Matter protesters gathered in front of the county attorney’s office to protest the ruling, KSL reported.
“I understand if someone pulls a gun out on you, then yes, you have to do what you’ve got to do,” Bell said. “But when people that are not threatening you, and you feel like they’re a threat to you just because you’re big, or whatever the reason. They need a different resort than going straight to just shooting somebody.”
Bell claimed he was walking toward the officers with knives in both hands because he was cleaning his apartment and said he believed officers would have shot him even if he followed their commands and dropped the weapons, KSL reported.
“[There were] four officers, and they shot one Taser at me,” Bell complained. “No matter what, if they felt threatened, they have three other times they could have used those Tasers. Or, instead of right when they get there, pulling their guns on me? They need some kind of tactical training besides that.”
He said that he thought law enforcement needed to be retrained to de-escalate confrontations, KSL reported.
Bell also said he thought the charges against him should be dropped and claimed he had been walking toward officers to surrender to them.
Watch Bell approaching the officers with knives in the video below: