On 38 occasions they fired their weapons and the man ran towards them with a knife.
Five Detroit police officers (Michigan, USA) fired 38 shots in three seconds at a 20-year-old African-American, schizophrenic man who lunged at them with a knife in the middle of a psychotic episode, city officials said.
During a press conference, Detroit Police Chief James White presented body camera footage of one of the officers involved in last Sunday’s shooting.
In the video, uniformed officers can be heard negotiating with and trying to calm down the victim, identified as Porter Burks.
“You have no problem, drop the knife, we will help you,” one of the policemen is heard saying.
However, the youth refused to drop the weapon and approached the officers, prompting them to open fire, hitting him at least 15 times.
On October 2, 2022, a statement regarding officer-involved shootings and pending litigation: pic.twitter.com/tovsMgknAN
— Detroit Police News (@detroitpolice) October 6, 2022
Agents said the victim was dangerously brandishing a 20-centimeter knife, and justified the use of deadly force because the victim was more than 1.5 meters out of range of those devices and could not use their stun guns.
Later, officials confirmed that the weapon was less than 9 centimeters long.
For his part, the attorney for Burks’ relatives, Jeffrey Fieger, assured that after being shot multiple times, the young man was handcuffed and “dumped” at the hospital. This version was disputed by the authorities, who confirmed that he was treated properly during the transfer.
After the incident, Detroit police opened an investigation to assess the agents’ conduct and determine their degree of responsibility for the teenager’s death. For the time being, those investigated were administratively acquitted.
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