WASHINGTON, D.C. — Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser has ordered the release of two body-worn camera (BWC) videos related to the fatal shooting of a man in Northeast, D.C. by a Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) officer on Christmas Day.
The mayor also ordered the release of two 911 transcripts that brought police to the home on the 3200 block of Walnut Street, NE.
The mayor said it proves what police have been stating, that the man killed, Gerald Javon Hall, 29, was holding a knife when shot. A claim Hall’s family, who administration officials said were shown the video on the day of the shooting, has disputed.
"There was a question if there was a weapon involved in this incident and clearly there was,” said Mayor Muriel Bowser.
The two BWC videos come from the officer that fired the shots, four can be heard on the video, and another officer.
The videos can be viewed at the bottom of this story.
MPD officers had initially responded to the home for a domestic violence call shortly after 11:00 a.m. They interviewed a woman in the home and left after determining there was no physical altercation between the woman and Hall.
A short time later, the same officers were sent back to the home after two more 911 calls indicating the situation had escalated and Hall was assaulting the woman in the home. Both callers indicated that Hall had a knife.
The BWC video from the officer who fired the shots begins shortly before the shooting. It shows the officer walking up to the home, where they’re met by a woman, who a Bowser administration official said is the sister of the woman in the home. As the officer approaches the door, a man, identified by an administration official as a neighbor, is seen exiting the home.
As the man exits the door, you can hear the officer say, “Bossman, put the knife down”. The woman exits the home, saying, “He’s alright,” and sits down as the door closes behind her. Officers tell the woman to move, and as she’s standing up, the door opens and the officer fires his weapon.
The point from when the officer orders Hall to put the knife down to when the shots are fired is less than 20 seconds.
The mayor’s office released two screenshots from the video it said show that Hall was holding a knife.
But Mayor Bowser said while the video shows Hall was holding a knife, it does not mean that the shooting was justified. She said that determination will be made by the U.S. Attorney’s office, which is currently investigating the shooting. The officer remains on administrative leave.
WARNING: The video below may be considered graphic by some.
BWC Video #1:
BWC Video #2: