Distressing bodycam video captured the moment police in Westchester County fatally shot a man accused of stealing fruit – which his father described as a “modern-day lynching.”
Three New Rochelle cops — identified as Kari Bird, Gabrielle Chavarry and Detective Steven Conn — confronted Jarrell Garris, 37, at a grocery store on July 3, according to Fox News.
“What were you doing in the store? You were eating the food?” one of the two female cops asks Garris as he walks away.
Conn tells Garris he is under arrest, but he begins to struggle with the officers as they try to handcuff him.
“Tase him! Tase him! Tase him!” Conn yells.
“He’s got a gun! He’s got a gun!” the cop then yells as Garris appears to place his hand on the belt of one of the officers.
The detective fired one round, which hit Garris in the neck and impacted his cervical spine and spinal cord, the Westchester County Medical Examiner’s Office said July 12, according to LoHud.com.
Garris remained in a coma and was taken off life support on July 10. His death was ruled a homicide and is being investigated by the state Attorney General’s Office.
The AG’s Office of Special Investigation takes over when a police officer may have caused a person’s death, according to state law.
Raymond Fowler described his son’s killing as a “modern-day lynching.”
“My son was shot behind the ear, he was paralyzed instantly. I have to carry that for the rest of my life,” he said, according to WNBC, which reported that Garris suffered from mental health issues.
The New Rochelle Police Department initially released video that cut off the moment of the shooting.
The AG’s office released additional footage Tuesday totaling four minutes. Garris’ family is demanding the full release of the more than 20 minutes of video recorded.
Family attorney William Wagstaff III said the real story is what Conn did and said after firing his handgun.
“You see Officer Conn arrive at the scene, immediately escalate the situation by physically grabbing Jarrell. [Conn] places a handcuff on [Garris], there’s a scuffle, and then as the scuffle starts to unfold, he shoots him in the back of his neck,” Wagstaff told WNBC.
“That’s when he then tries to narrate his way out of the murder he just committed by saying, ‘Oh, he’s got your gun, he’s got your gun.’ The officer in response says, ‘No dude, I got my gun,’ and turns and shows she still has her firearm in her holster. It was a blatant lie,” he added.
The four officers have been placed on paid administrative leave pending completion of the state’s probe, a department rep told the outlet.
“New Rochelle believes in transparency and supports the Attorney General’s decision to release additional bodycam footage from the July 3 shooting,” a city spokesperson told WNBC.
Garris was back in his native New Rochelle to pick up his son and take him back for the summer to Greensboro, North Carolina, where he moved several months ago, USA Today reported.
His family said he had been eating some fruits inside the New Rochelle Farms market.
On Friday, they led a march through New Rochelle to police headquarters to express their ongoing outrage.
“As a community, we can’t accept it,” local NAACP President Aisha Cook told WPIX. “We need to be out here, we need to be in force and we need to make sure that everybody knows that we do not stand for it, it’s not OK.”
Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-NY) said that Garris “should be alive today and back home in North Carolina with his son.
“Instead, even though the police knew he experienced schizophrenia, he was shot and killed after police accused him of stealing food from a nearby grocery store,” Bowman said, according to USA Today.
“Police brutality has been sickening our country and taking the lives of our loved ones for decades.”
SOURCE: New york post