David Collie
NBCDFW screenshot

On Tuesday a video was released showing a Fort Worth, Texas, police officer shooting a black man in the back as he walked away.

However, as NBCDFW notes, the police and the man's lawyer are not seeing eye to eye on whether the July shooting, which left the man paralyzed, was justified.

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David Collie released the video of his shooting through his attorney, Nate Washington, after he saw an unrelated video of another Fort Worth officer wrestling a mother and her daughter to the ground and arresting the pair after the mother called for help because a white man had allegedly assaulted her son.

That officer was placed on restricted duty after video of the encounter went viral.

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"Unfortunately, what we've seen from the Fort Worth police officer in that video is not an isolated incident. Many members of our community have been assaulted, handled roughly by Fort Worth police officers," Washington said. "To be clear, we believe the vast majority of police officers are good and decent people."

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In Collie's case, an off-duty Fort Worth police officer and an off-duty Tarrant County, Texas, sheriff's deputy had responded to a reported robbery at a gas station July 27. Authorities say that one of the men had pulled a silver handgun and robbed someone he had met in order to buy items that the victim was trying to sell online.

The responding officers drove to an apartment complex near the gas station and encountered two shirtless black men, according to the release set out by the Fort Worth Police Department after the shooting.

Officers believed that Collie matched the description of one of the armed robbers. Collie refused to engage with the officers, walking away from them and ignoring their commands to put his hands up, police claimed. The officers also claimed that Collie pulled a silver box cutter out of his pocket and pointed it at the deputy sheriff, causing the Fort Worth officer to shoot him in the lower torso, as the Fort Worth statement described it.

Collie's lawyer refuted this statement, saying that while a box cutter was indeed found 10 feet away from where Collie was shot, Collie never threatened the officers with a box cutter and he didn't have one in his hand. Washington also said that his client did try to follow orders.

"I wasn't there that night. I do know what I saw. I know I never saw this man with a weapon. I never saw this man advance toward the officers. I know I saw him get shot in his back," Washington told the news station.

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The lawyer said that the city has refused to turn over any records relating to the shooting, adding, "The process that they ask us to trust is essentially, 'Let us do what we want to do; we will not be transparent at all, and then we'll tell you what we concluded.’"

The video was obtained by the Tarrant County District Attorney's Office.

After the shooting, Collie had to be hospitalized for 61 days and was left paralyzed from the abdomen down. He was initially charged with aggravated assault on a public servant, but a grand jury later dismissed those charges. Washington believes that may be because Collie could not be seen in the video holding any weapon.

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"There are conflicting reports in the different city police reports they have written; they have various different narratives and they're inconsistent," Washington said.

Washington slammed the shooting as yet another example of excessive force by Fort Worth police. The lawyer said that he is considering a lawsuit against the city.

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"We've gotten calls from attorneys across the city, who said, 'I have videos as well; I have photographs of what happened to my client,’ and so we're investigating the culture and the practice of the city of Fort Worth," Washington said. "We want justice for David. We want change, but we also want peace and calm from the community after they see this video."

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