A police dash cam video (below) released on Dec. 27 shows an officer shooting a shirtless black man in the back for allegedly threatening police in Fort Worth, Texas, in July.
A Fort Worth police officer and a Tarrant County Sheriff's deputy came across David Collie at an apartment complex -- half-a-mile away from a gas station that had been robbed that night by two shirtless black men -- where they were working security and off-duty, notes The Associated Press.
One of the lawmen held a flashlight, while the other pulled a handgun.
The 33-year-old black man appeared to be walking away from them as he pointed in the opposite direction. Moments later, he was shot in the back.
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At the time of the incident, law enforcement said that Collie took a box cutter out of his pocket and pointed it at the police.
Collie, who was paralyzed from the bullet, was later charged with aggravated assault on a public servant, but a grand jury would not indict; the video does not show Collie assaulting anyone.
The incident happened about five months ago, but the Fort Worth Police Department still refuses to release the names of the lawmen involved.
The department tweeted a statement on Dec. 28, notes The Washington Post: "We saw what you saw. We heard what you heard. We have received your phone calls, your emails, your messages, your tweets, your reviews, your absolute concern over what occurred and your demand for answers and action. WE DO HEAR YOU!"
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Fort Worth Police Sgt. Marc Povero said Collie did not comply with commands to stop, and appeared to be aiming a silver object at law enforcement, reports the AP.
In the video, it's not clear if Collie has an object in his hand.
Washington insisted that Collie was not part of the gas station robbery, and did not own a box cutter that was found near the scene of the shooting.
According to the attorney, Collie had been walking from work to a friend’s apartment when the police drove up and approached him.
Washington told The Washington Post that Collie was trying to comply when the shots rang out:
His assertion is [he] was only trying to comply. These officers pulled up, they’re moving kind of quickly, one of them has a gun drawn. He told me "I was scared. I wasn’t exactly sure what to do." When I met him in the hospital, he told me, "Nate, I was trying to comply and they shot me in the back."
It is the sort of racial bias and the sort of racial prejudice that says you should be afraid of the African American man. You watch that video, you have an officer that sees Mr. Collie and within 10 seconds puts a bullet in his back. That doesn’t happen to other folks. That happens to African Americans.