The family of a mentally ill African-American man who was shot dead by Dallas police last summer has released footage from an officer’s body camera that recorded the incident, the Dallas Morning News reported on Monday.
The move comes as police across the country have come under increasing scrutiny for using deadly force, particularly against black men, in the wake of high profile killings of unarmed African-Americans in Ferguson, Missouri and New York City.
The footage, released by the family of 38-year-old Jason Harrison and their attorney Geoff Henley and published by the Morning News, shows officers responding to the home of Harrison’s mother the morning of June 14, 2014.
Harrison’s mother had called for help to take him to a local hospital as he was in a mental crisis, suffering from bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, the newspaper reported.
In the video, Harrison’s mother opens the door to the awaiting officers and he appears behind her twiddling a screwdriver. The officers immediately demand he drop the tool and within seconds fire several shots, killing Harrison.
Harrison’s family in October filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against the city and the two officers, who appear in the video to be white, arguing that he did not pose a threat, according to the complaint.
Dallas Police Department spokesman Lieutenant Jose Garcia said the case was forwarded to the Dallas County District Attorney’s Office, the Morning News reported, adding that an attorney for the officers said they feared for their lives.
A representative for the police department could not be immediately reached for comment.
Watch vide of the incident posted online by The Dallas Morning News:
(Reporting by Curtis Skinner in San Francisco; Editing by Jeremy Laurence)