In footage released Wednesday, Oakland police body cameras appear to show a carjacking suspect pointing a gun in the direction of officers before they shoot him dead during a foot pursuit last week.
The deadly shooting of 24-year-old Nate Wilks led to protests in the streets of Oakland.
In response, the Oakland Police Department invited reporters to the chief’s conference room Wednesday morning to view the body camera video of the officer-involved shooting. The only rule: no recording devices. It is the first time the department has ever shown the media video from officer’s body cameras before releasing it to the public.
What the footage shows: three officers with their chest-worn cameras rolling. The 30-second video is choppy and bouncy. But, during the foot pursuit of the carjacking suspect, the suspect appeared to be carrying a gun. It also appeared that he was refusing officers repeated demands to drop the firearm.
Then, in slow motion, the suspect turns around, toward the officers with his gun up around his chest, pointed in the general direction of one of the officers. All three officers then fire several shots at the man. The suspect with his loaded gun drops to the ground, never returning fire.
Police said all the shots were from the front, not from behind or in the head. The last thing seen in the video is the officers removing the man’s lifeless body from the entry way of building where he fell.
Police said they showed the video to Wilks' family on Wednesday. His mother told NBC Bay Area she is not convinced of what happened. Marcia Yearwood said she believes pieces of the footage are missing and her son did not appear to be pointing a gun at anyone, only running with an object in his hand.
“They were wrong,” Yearwood said. “There needs to be justice for him because they had no reason to shoot him like that, no reason for that.”
Police said they would release the video to the public once the investigation is complete.
Also Wednesday, Oakland police showed reporters the video leading up to another man's death. Last month, police found a man they were chasing unconscious and wedged between two buildings. That suspect was ultimately pronounced dead at the hospital.
Body cameras have been used by Oakland police since 2010.