Judge Allows Release Of Police Bodycam Footage In Jason Walker Shooting Case
Senior Resident Superior Court Judge Jim Ammons has granted a request from the police chief of a North Carolina city to release body camera video recorded in the aftermath of the shooting death of a Black man by an off-duty sheriff’s deputy.
On Tuesday Fayetteville Police Chief Gina Hawkins filed the petition with the courts asking that the footage be released as she says it will show exchanges between Fayetteville police officers and three witnesses at the scene of the shooting.
The decision comes after Walker, 37, was shot and killed earlier this month by off-duty Cumberland County Sheriff’s Lieutenant Jeffrey Hash, who was driving his car with his wife and daughter.
Hash claimed Walker jumped on his car, tore off his windscreen wipers, and began smashing his windshield.
The initial investigation determined that Walker “ran into traffic and jumped on a moving vehicle,” and the unidentified deputy subsequently shot him and then called 911, police said.
But this was later changed after a trauma nurse, Elizabeth Ricks, said she witnessed the incident and performed first aid on Walker after Hash shot him. She said she saw Walker was crossing the street when he was struck by Hash’s car, who then got out and shot him.
The incident led to days of protests and calls for Hash, who has been placed on administrative leave, to be arrested and charged.
But local police have repeatedly said that Hash’s vehicle shows no signs of damage, and Walker’s body showed no signs of impact from a vehicle.
Now the judge has ordered the release of the footage.
Senior Resident Superior Court Judge Jim Ammons told The Fayetteville Observer. that he approved the release “in the interest of justice.”
Under a North Carolina law passed in 2016, body and dash-camera footage is not public record but anyone can ask a court to order its release.