Kansas Police Release Video of Cop ‘Accidentally’ Shooting Motorist Instead of Tasing Him

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Screenshot: Lawrence, Kansas Police Shooting Video May 2018 (YouTube)

After almost a year, the Lawrence, Kan., police department finally released video footage of a former officer shooting a motorist after an altercation between the motorist and another officer.


In May 2018, driver Akira S. Lewis was pulled over by Officer Ian McCann in Lawrence for a seatbelt violation. Through the nearly eight-minute video (with very clear audio), Lewis is very upset for being pulled over for that minor violation, claiming to have seen many other white motorists guilty of the same thing, but somehow, he was the one stopped.

The encounter escalates further when Officer McCann informs Lewis that he is going to jail for repeatedly failing to cooperate, at which point the officer calls for backup. Backup Officer Brindley Blood shows up and they both make attempts to get Lewis out of the car to be taken to jail. Things go from chaotic to bedlam as Lewis gets out of the vehicle and he and McCann get into a physical altercation, with Lewis getting the better of McCann, slamming him on the ground. Blood then pulls her gun and shoots Lewis in the back. According to Blood, she thought she was tasing him.

From the AP:

She is seen shooting Lewis when he punches and tackles the officer who initiated the traffic stop. Blood, who resigned from the police force in January after being placed on paid leave, is charged with aggravated battery. Lewis was treated at a hospital and is charged with several misdemeanors, including battery against a law enforcement officer.

Thankfully, Lewis wasn’t killed in the shooting, but the city still refused to share footage, pending an investigation, until now, after it had been shown in court. According to the Lawrence Journal-World, Blood has been charged with several infractions as a result of her shooting Lewis:

Blood, 36, is charged with aggravated battery, a felony, for allegedly recklessly hurting Lewis with a deadly weapon. Her attorneys argue that while Blood made a mistake she was not reckless and the charge should be dropped.

After seeing the video and listening to other testimony Wednesday, Judge Peggy Kittel is weighing whether to bind Blood over for trial on the charge. Kittel is scheduled to announce her ruling later this week.


For what it’s worth, Lewis was also charged in the May 2018 encounter with “with battery against a law enforcement officer, interference with law enforcement and driving without proof of insurance, all misdemeanors, and failure to wear a seat belt, a traffic infraction.” At the time of the stop, he was also dealing with several outstanding warrants, including in the jurisdiction where he was pulled over. Clearly, he wasn’t interested in having his license run, but the level to which this escalated seems excessive.

How an officer can claim not to be reckless when she alleges she didn’t intend to shoot Lewis but did so anyway—when she thought she was pulling a taser—is beyond me. That sounds like the definition of reckless, especially given the video footage, because that looks like she knew exactly what she was doing.


Judge Kittel will decide whether Blood will stand trial later this week.


Obfuscatio: philosopher at large

My, my, my. Lots of shit to fling about on this one, eh?

  • Profiled? Quite possibly. Would we be surprised? No.
  • Running the plate? Standard operating procedure.
  • Refusing the officer’s orders? Never a good idea. You can pull out your diplomat’s passport once back at the station. Accept that you are NOT going to have the next few hours go according to your previous plan and follow directions as best you are able.
  • Yanking a beligerent driver out of the vehicle? Where’s the fucking fire? Couldn’t wait for him to calm down and accept that he’s going to get charged regardless, and explain that if he attempts to evade it’s only going to get worse? Were the Krispy Kremes not going to be quite fresh enough?
  • Fighting with the officer? Yeah, like that ever goes well, temporary victory or not. Certainly unwise with another officer already on scene. And you already heard him call for backup. In a metropolitan area. How did you think that was going to go?
  • Drawing either weapon as a way to regain control of the fight? Bad choice. Just as likely to harm or kill both combatants - physical contact if using the Taser, through and through (and through?) if using a firearm.
  • Not knowing which weapon is in hand? How on FSM’s noodly Earth does a trained officer do that? Failed to see the weapon itself while lining up the sights? Didn’t notice a complete difference in heft? Who signed off on that training, and are they proud? “Oops. I accidentally pumped motor oil into the fuel tank and topped up the engine with windshield washer fluid. My bad.” Da foque?!?! If I was this twit’s partner I’d refuse to ride anything more mobile than a desk with her.

On a minor note: When calling out to arriving backup, “Shots fired,” might it be wise to add, “by officers... suspect appears to be unarmed”? Wouldn’t that save: arriving officers undue fear, causing a whole lot of chaos, and the guy (who’s already been shot, in case that matters) from getting turned into a fleshy collander? I mean, hey! Everybody loves celebrating a touchdown with the guy who got the ball over the line, but maybe this isn’t the best circumstance for that approach? (Yeah, I know... [sigh...] feature, not bug.)