The NYPD today released the first in a series of body-worn camera footage documenting fatal shootings by police. The footage comes from four officers trying to arrest a man on a domestic violence charge in the 120th precinct on Staten Island. Police say the man, Gregory Edwards, shot an officer in the hand before being shot to death by officers on the scene.
The 14-minute video, posted to YouTube, brings together footage from the four body-worn cameras of officers on the scene, along with an explanation of the events leading up to the shooting by Deputy Chief Kevin Maloney, who heads the police department’s Force Investigation Division.
The videos show officers approach Edwards sitting on a stoop and immediately try to take him into custody. Two bystanders who were talking to Edwards are in the videos, plus a baby in a stroller close by.
“Please don’t do that,” Edwards says as the officers try and pull him up from the stoop. The officers repeatedly tell him, “You have an open complaint.”
Suddenly Edwards appears to charge at an officer, and they struggle to control him. “Taser! Taser! Taser!” one officer yells, as another pulls her Taser out and shoots Edwards with it to little effect. “Fuck outta here,” Edwards says, and he pulls out a gun.
Police say Edwards fired his handgun twice at the officers before an officer shoots him three times.
One officer was hit in the left hand.
Warning: the video is graphic.
The video released Friday comes after the NYPD earlier this month announced a long-awaited policy for sharing body-camera footage with the public. That policy states body-camera footage should be released if an officer shoots and kills or seriously injures another person.
According to the policy, footage can also be released at the police commissioner’s discretion, but it does not guarantee that the footage would be released otherwise — a point of contention for advocates and elected officials who argue for more transparency from the police department.
Deputy Chief Maloney says the investigation of the shooting on Staten Island is ongoing. So far this year there have been 11 deadly police shootings.
The NYPD has not yet released body camera footage of the friendly fire death of Officer Brian Mulkeen, who was killed along with the man he was pursuing, Antonio Williams, in late September.