Washington, D.C. police released body camera footage from the officers who killed 27-year-old Antwan Gilmore after finding him asleep in his car last Wednesday.
Here’s what happened, according to NPR:
Around 2:45 a.m. Wednesday morning, someone called 911 to report that a driver in a black BMW appeared to be unconscious, stopped at a traffic light in the travel lanes of New York Avenue NE near Florida Avenue, Police Chief Robert Contee said at a press conference Wednesday morning. When police arrived on the scene they saw the man had a handgun in his waistband, according to the chief’s account. The officer then called for backup and a ballistic shield “to shield themselves from potential gunfire,” Contee said. Several officers responded, arriving within 20 minutes.
“[Officers] attempted to wake the individual. At some point he awakened, and at that point, that individual was engaged by officers, and at some point, from there shots were fired,” Contee said. The man was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead, police said. He was later identified as 27 year-old Antwan Gilmore of Capitol Heights.
According to NPR, the bodycam video, released last Thursday, shows the officers attempting to wake Gilmore up by tapping on his window and shining flashlights into the car. When Gilmore woke up, his car began to move. Police asked him to stop his car and he did, but when the car began to move again, the officers shot at him 10 times. Police Chief Contee said at the press conference that it is hard to tell what the officers were threatened by because the ballistic shield was in the way, NBC 4 reports.
From NBC 4:
The five-and-a-half-minute video released by MPD shows several officers around Gilmore’s black BMW. They can be heard knocking on the windows and talking about a gun.
“I can’t see his hands,” one officer can be heard saying.
The car suddenly moves forward and officers start shouting “Don’t move!” and “Police!”
Then several shots are fired.
A gun was found in Gilmore’s waistband, police said. Contee said he didn’t know if Gilmore ever removed the gun from his waistband. It remained there after the shooting, he said.
MPD policy bars officers from firing at a moving vehicle, the police chief said.
Jordan White, a D.C. resident, recorded the incident and posted the video on Instagram, NPR notes. White, who was driving to a friend’s house, stopped to record when she saw the crowd of officers surrounding Gilmore’s car. At least eight officers can be seen in the video, NPR reports. After the shooting, Gilmore’s car rode for several blocks before it crashed, according to officials. Neither the bodycam footage nor White’s recording shows Gilmore’s window roll down or any gunfire coming from his car.
Officers recovered the gun from Gilmore’s waistband after the car crashed. They attempted to perform life-saving measures before medics came and took him to the hospital where he was pronounced dead, according to NBC 4.
Police Chief Contee says that although it is against Metro Police Department policy to shoot at a moving car, the incident is still being investigated to determine if the officers are guilty of acting unlawfully.
ABC 7 reports that members of Black Lives Matter DC, Gilmore’s family and other D.C. residents gathered to demand justice last Thursday at the intersection of Florida and New York Ave NE, where Gilmore was shot.
According to NPR, Ward 4 Councilmember Janeese Lewis George tweeted that she didn’t understand how the situation escalated:
NPR reports that this was the second police shooting in the District in less than 12 hours, according to the Metropolitan Police Department.