The Lawrence, Kansas, police department has released dashcam footage of an altercation that led to a motorist being shot and an officer facing felony charges.
The video, released on Monday, shows the May 2018 traffic stop involving motorist Akira S. Lewis, who was pulled over for a seat belt violation. Minutes into the stop, Lewis body-slams one of the officers before another rushes over and shoots him in the back.
“Ohhh! Oh sh-t!,” Lewis screams.
Officer Brindley Blood, who shot the man, was charged with reckless aggravated battery in the incident but insists the shooting was accidental, as she thought she had deployed her Taser instead of her gun. Blood resigned from the Lawrence PD in January, the Kansas City Star reported.
The Lawrence Journal-World said it first requested video of the police shooting several days after it occurred but was denied after the city claimed the materials were “part of an ongoing investigation.” The paper requested the video again last week after it was shown during a court hearing for Blood.
Throughout the nearly eight-minute video, an irate Lewis accuses Officer Ian McCann of singling him out for the minor infraction and refuses the officer’s commands to see his driver’s license and insurance. Things soon escalate from there as the driver becomes increasingly defiant.
“I’m moving, my family’s homeless. I’m trying to go to work at 6 [o’clock] and you’re trying to stop me for a f—–g seat belt?” Lewis says. “All them white folks you passed by didn’t have their motherf—-g seat belts on … get the f–k outta here.”
McCann said he was willing to write Lewis a ticket and “send him on his way” but threatened the man with arrest if he refused to cooperate.
“You are about to go to jail on a seat belt violation — are you really wanting to do that?” the officer is heard asking in the video. “You could give me your driver’s license, I could write you a ticket and you can drive home.”
It’s not long before McCann called for backup. Shortly after Blood arrives, the two officers attempt to physically remove Lewis from his vehicle and an altercation ensues. During the scuffle, Lewis shoves McCann and lifts him off his feet before slamming him to the ground.
Blood rushes to intervene as the two men wrestle. That’s when she draws her weapon and shoots Lewis in the back of the shoulder. Two other officers arrive on the scene as Blood and McCann slap a pair of cuffs on the wounded motorist.
The Johnson County District Attorney’s office is currently reviewing the case.
Lewis, who survived the shooting, was charged by Dallas County prosecutors for “battery against a law enforcement officer, interference with law enforcement and driving without proof of insurance, all misdemeanors, and failure to wear a seat belt, a traffic infraction,” the Kansas City Star reported.
Blood’s fate is now in the hands of a judge who will decide if the case goes to trial.
Watch more in the video below.