Jason Walker: North Carolina judge rules police bodycam video can be released in shooting case
Judge James Ammons Jr. ordered the release of the bodycam videos of the three Fayetteville Police Department officers responding to the scene where Walker was shot.
Fayetteville Police Chief Gina Hawkins had asked the court for permission to release the videos, which she said contained testimonies from three witnesses.
“FPD seeks public release of the testimony recordings to further an imperative public interest, release would not pose a serious threat to the fair administration of justice,” she wrote in the filing.
In North Carolina, law enforcement officials must seek permission from the court before law enforcement records can be released or shared publicly.
The North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation is leading the investigation and no charges have been filed so far. The Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office has confirmed that Hash, who has been with the department since 2005, is now on administrative leave pending an internal investigation.
According to her attorney, Ben Crump, Walker’s family has still not received details of the autopsy or preliminary results of the investigation.
“We need to stop this vicious circle in America of shooting first and asking questions later when it comes to black people. It’s unacceptable,” Crump said Thursday night at a gathering at the Good Hope Missionary Baptist Church in Fayetteville.
“I say to you, brothers and sisters, tonight in Fayetteville, North Carolina, that it is right that we speak out for the truth of what happened to Jason Walker, that we fight for the truth of what is happening to Jason Walker is. ‘ said Crump.
Crump added that Hash is an officer who should be trained to protect people, not take lives.
According to police, a preliminary investigation found Walker “pulled into traffic and jumped onto (the) moving vehicle” that the sheriff’s deputy was driving. “The driver of the vehicle shot (Walker) and called 911,” the Fayetteville Police Department said in a statement Saturday.
“I had a man jump on my vehicle and smash my windshield. I just shot him. He jumped on my vehicle. I just had to shoot him,” Hash told the dispatcher in a nearly four-minute 911 call.
“I stopped so I wouldn’t hit him and he jumped on my car and started screaming, pulled off my wipers and started banging on my windshield and breaking my windshield. I had my wife and daughter in my vehicle,” Hash added.
On Saturday night, a viewer posted video that began shortly after Walker was shot.
It shows a man standing next to the driver’s side of a red pickup truck, talking on a cell phone. One person appears to be lying lifeless and bleeding on the ground next to him, and at least two people appear to be trying to offer help to the person who is lying on the ground. Uniformed police officers arrive about 45 seconds into the video.
On Sunday, Chief Hawkins said an analysis of the vehicle’s so-called “black box” showed that the “vehicle did not hit anything or anyone” and that a windshield wiper had been ripped off and used to shatter the windshield in multiple places.
“It is important to share some of the confirmed facts of this case with the public to ensure transparency as this investigation progresses,” she said. And added that the weapon used by Hash was not his service weapon.