Cop Kills Apparently Suicidal Native American Who Held Knife To His Own Throat (Video)


A newly released video (below) shows a Denver police officer fatally shooting Paul Castaway, a Native American who held a knife to his own throat, on July 12 at the Capital City Mobile Home Park.

Denver District Attorney Mitch Morrissey announced on Sept. 14 that the officer will not be charged with any crimes.

The video was filmed by a surveillance camera in the mobile home park.

Before a police officer shot him four times, Castaway reportedly broke into his mother's home and poked her neck with a knife, but she believed he was under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

She called 911 and told the dispatcher that her son had a knife and was suicidal.

In the video, two police officers chase Castaway, who hides behind a fence, and then walks towards the cops with the knife to his throat.

Morrissey stated in a letter regarding his decision not to charge the cops:

"In this case, Castaway’s decision to turn, confront the officers and deliberately advance toward Officer (Michael) Truadt, knife in hand, rather than complying with his orders, compelled Officer Traudt to shoot.

"...In this investigation we are, once again, presented with a situation in which police officers are called to deal with someone who is violent, apparently suicidal, and who has an astounding combination of alcohol and controlled substances in his system.

"As is all too often the case, the actions and decisions of the subject place an officer who is attempting to take the subject into custody or 'talk him down' in an untenable situation: A situation where the officer will, in many instances, be driven by the subject’s actions to use some degree of physical force or deadly physical force."

In another incident in July, two police officers in the U.K. were faced with a similar "untenable situation" when a man came after them with a knife. Those officers were able to subdue and arrest the man without resorting to gunfire.

Castaway's family saw the video in July, and said that Castaway did not threaten the police officers and should not have been shot.

"You need to investigate these policemen that are killing our children," Castaway's mother Lilian Castaway told 7 News. "My son needed help, he didn't need to be killed by you people."

"Every time I've called the police, I've told them that he has a mental health problem and that he's schizophrenic, every single time," Lilian added. "And every time he's gotten arrested with no problem like this."

Police Chief Robert White told said in July that one of his officers killed the man because he came "dangerously close" with a long knife, noted The Denver Post.

Gabriel Black Elk, Castaway's brother, said the video showed his brother holding the knife to his own throat, which is where it stayed the entire time.

"He held the knife to his neck," an unidentified 15-year-old boy told The Denver Post. "He came close to them, and that's when they shot him."

WARNING: Video contains disturbing scenes.

(Note: Police confront Castaway at :20 mark)

Sources: 7 News, The Denver Post / Photo credit: 7 News Screenshot


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