Grand Jury Declines to Charge Dallas Cops Who Shot Mentally Ill Man Holding a Screwdriver
Jason Harrison in the final seconds of his life, after being shot by Dallas police.
The Dallas cops who shot and killed a mentally ill man holding a screwdriver will not face charges, after a grand jury declined to indict Dallas Police Department Officers John Rogers and Andrew Hutchins. "The family is obviously severely disappointed," attorney Geoff Henley told The Dallas Morning News.
The news isn't a surprise: police officers in North Texas and the rest of America rarely face charges in officer-involved shootings, and DPD Chief David Brown has previously spoken out in support of the officers. Rogers and Hutchins were placed on administrative leave for five days before returning back to work.
The shooting was captured on film, not by a witness but on Hutchins' body camera. It was the first fatal shooting captured on a Dallas Police Department officer's body camera, but the department refused to release the footage, citing the ongoing investigation. The public ultimately saw the footage in March, when Henley, the attorney for Harrison's family, obtained it through discovery in a civil suit. Harrison's family is going forward with a lawsuit they filed against the officers and the DPD.
The body cam footage, embedded below, is extremely graphic. Harrison's mother called the police on him that day, but she does not appear afraid of her son in the video. "He's off the chain," she says, shaking her head and looking annoyed. "Bipolar, schizo," she says, explaining her son's mental illness. Harrison steps out from behind her as officers ask him to drop the screwdriver. Within six seconds after he appears in the frame, the officers fire.
Send your story tips to the author, Amy Silverstein.