Released today.(no audio) Video of violent police chase played in court
Mother of man killed during chase watches video for the 1st time
Reaction to West Memphis police chase videos continues
July 4, 2008 04:42 PM EDT
There were more questions Friday about a series of police dashboard camera videos showing West Memphis police officers shooting and killing two people during a chase four years ago. Now, the mother of one of the victims wants answers.
Officers John Gardner and Troy Galtelli are hoping to avoid a trial on charges of reckless homicide, but prosecutors want a jury to decide if they should be punished for the police shooting death of Donald Rickard and his girlfriend, Kelly Allen.
Against the wishes of the defense, Judge John Fowlkes allowed prosecutors to play video taped recordings in court Thursday from three different squad car dashboard cameras.
The pursuit started with a routine traffic stop four years ago in West Memphis. Rickard was behind the wheel of a Honda, but is seen on the tape refusing to get out of his car, and instead pulling away.
West Memphis police quickly give chase. After the chase crosses over into Memphis, Rickard can be seen on the tape spinning out and being cornered by officers. He manages to take off again, but not before officers open fire on the car.
From the dashboard camera of another police car, you can see officers fire off dozens of shots into the vehicle, striking Rickard and his passenger. Seconds later the car flips and crashes into a house.
Defense attorney Steve Farese said the officers followed the rules.
"They're radioing back and forth," Farese said. "They're trying to contact Memphis police. They're trying to do everything by the book."
Four years later, Gardner and Galtelli are still on the force, and have the full support of West Memphis Police Chief Bob Paudert.
"Even the prosecutors in Arkansas reviewed it and said they didn't commit any violations, and they've been persecuted for four years," Paudert said.
A third officer involved in the shooting was granted diversion. Defense attorneys argue that Gardner and Galtelli should be granted the same treatment. A judge is expected to decide whether their case should go to trial on September 26th.
Donald Rickard's mother, Daisy, said the wait will be difficult.
"Everybody wants to know why this hasn't come to trial," she said.
According to Daisy Rickard, Donald was driving her car, and police stopped him because a headlight was broken. She admits he was a drug user, and was probably running scared, but doesn't believe that justifies the actions of the officers.
"For them to just run him down like a rabbit or a deer, and shoot him like they did...I know he took three bullets, and she took one," Rickard said.
If there is a trial, Rickard added, she will be in the courtroom along with many family members and friends.
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