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Society

Police Kill Man Carrying Knives In Oklahoma (Video)

| by Michael Allen

Police in Tulsa, Oklahoma, released dash cam and body cam videos (below) on June 15 of the fatal shooting of a 29-year-old black man on June 9.

Tulsa County Sheriff's deputies and one Tulsa police officer tried to stop Joshua Barre from walking into a convenience store while he carried some knives.

Police said that Barre refused to obey commands and a stun gun was used on him, but he continued toward the store. Just as Barre entered the store, he was fatally shot by law enforcement.

One officer stated: "OK, we've got shots fired because the subject was in the building."

Police noted that the store camera also captured footage: "We are fortunate to have video evidence from the convenience store’s camera system, which we released the day of the incident."

The Associated Press reported that Barre suffered from a bipolar disorder, had not been taking his medication and was experiencing anxiety, depression and paranoia.

Barre's mother reportedly called law enforcement for intervention. Sheriff's deputies, trained in de-escalation techniques, had gone to Barre’s house three times before Barre was killed by law enforcement on June 9.

On June 9, two deputies followed Barre as he walked nearly a mile without shoes or a shirt while holding some knives; while these aren't crimes, it definitely succeeded in drawing attention to Barre.

The deputies called for backup as they watched Barre walk toward the store where they believed he could possibly place lives in danger.

Dan Smolen, the Barre family's attorney, told the AP: "Inexplicably, they corralled him to the convenience store, setting up a nightmare scenario."

Fearing for the customers' safety inside the store, law enforcement fired at Barre as he was entering the building.

Law enforcement's choice to kill Barre, who was not technically committing a crime at the time of his death, has caused an outcry in Tulsa following the acquittal in May of Tulsa police officer Betty Shelby, who shot and killed an unarmed black motorist, Terence Crutcher, in September 2016.

In that case, Shelby opened fire on Crutcher, who had his hands up and walked toward his stalled vehicle, noted NPR.

The National Alliance on Mental Illness says that nearly one in four Americans killed by police suffer from a mental illness, noted the AP.

According to The Washington Post, 452 Americans have been killed by police in 2017 as of June 21.

Etta Barre, the mother of the deceased man, told the AP: "It was handled very sloppy. When they pulled up that name, they should have been in touch. Nobody getting hurt; nobody getting murdered."

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