Dallas police released a dramatic video Monday of an officer struggling with and fatally shooting an unarmed hit-and-run suspect in south Oak Cliff this month.
The recording shows the view from inside Officer Rene Villanueva's cruiser during a brief car chase with 31-year-old Derrick Jones on the night of Sept. 16.
After the pursuit, Officer Villanueva shoots Mr. Jones during a brief scuffle in which investigators say the suspect punched the officer three times in the head. Officer Villanueva has told officials he feared he was about to lose consciousness.
Police also said Monday that Mr. Jones' autopsy showed he had PCP in his system the night he was killed.
Dallas Police Chief David Kunkle decided to release the video after criticism from local civil rights leaders and Mr. Jones' family.
"The accounts that have played out in the community do not match what's on video," said Lt. Vernon Hale, a Dallas police spokesman.
But the video appeared to do little to ease the concerns of local activists who met with Chief Kunkle and members of his command staff Monday to watch it for the first time.
"I think the video answers some questions and raises some questions," said the Rev. Peter Johnson, a longtime civil rights leader. "Shooting unarmed people is evidence that there is something wrong with the training."
On the video, the Mercedes that Mr. Jones is driving rear-ends another car in the 4500 block of South Lancaster Road about 11:45 p.m. before fleeing the scene.
As Mr. Jones fled from Officer Villanueva, a man jumps out of a passenger side door of the Mercedes and another man jumps out of the rear driver's side door.
The Mercedes then crashes on a median along South Lancaster Road.
In the darkened upper left-hand corner of the screen, Officer Villanueva, 31, is seen exiting his cruiser with his gun drawn and aimed at Mr. Jones, who exits his vehicle and walks slowly toward the officer.
Officer Villanueva drifts off camera, and when he reappears his gun is back in its holster. The officer grabs Mr. Jones by his shirt in what police said was an attempt to arrest him.
The two men begin struggling with each other, briefly disappear off the screen and then reappear, with Mr. Jones punching Officer Villanueva at least once in the head area. Police say Mr. Jones – who was 6-foot-3 and 240 pounds – had already punched the officer twice in the head while the two were off camera.
The officer – who is about 5-foot-7 and 170 pounds – pulls his gun and fires one shot, striking Mr. Jones in the chest.
Mr. Jones' brother Dwayne Jones also watched the video in the meeting with Chief Kunkle on Monday afternoon and said he wasn't swayed.
"I don't think the actions constituted deadly force," said Dwayne Jones, 32. "I think that officer had choices. I think he made the wrong choice."
Officer Villanueva has been temporarily placed on restricted duty, as is common after police shootings. A grand jury will decide whether to indict him on criminal charges.
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