Judge OKs release of 3 police videos in Jason Walker homicide, PD seeks to release more




  • In US
  • 2022-01-13 23:14:02Z
  • By The Fayetteville Observer
Demonstrators march from the Cumberland County Law Enforcement Center to Fayetteville Police Dept.
Demonstrators march from the Cumberland County Law Enforcement Center to Fayetteville Police Dept.  

A Cumberland County Superior Court Judge on Thursday granted Fayetteville Police Chief Gina Hawkins' request to make public three videos that officers made at the scene where Jason Walker of Fayetteville was shot to death on Saturday by an off-duty deputy of the Cumberland County Sheriff's Office.

And the city police chief on Thursday evening said the department is filing a follow-up request to make public all of the videos her officers made at the site where the county sheriff's Lt. Jeffrey Hash, killed Walker. Hash has not been charged with a crime and the investigation of whether he should be charged is now being handled by the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation.

The Walker homicide has generated daily protests since Sunday afternoon and national headlines. There have been questions about whether the deputy was justified in killing Walker, and whether the Police Department gave Hash special treatment by not immediately arresting and charging him.

Senior Resident Superior Court Judge Jim Ammons said in an interview Thursday afternoon he approved the release of the initial three videos "in the interest of justice."

Fayetteville Police Chief Gina Hawkins takes questions from the media Sunday about the shooting death of Jason Walker, 37, by an off-duty deputy with the Cumberland County Sheriff
Fayetteville Police Chief Gina Hawkins takes questions from the media Sunday about the shooting death of Jason Walker, 37, by an off-duty deputy with the Cumberland County Sheriff's Office.  

Hawkins said Thursday evening she wants to ensure as much transparency as possible with the public in this matter and concluded all the video should be released, so she is having the Police Department's staff attorney make that request. The officers were there for hours, and she estimated there are more than two dozen clips. These will need to be redacted, she said, and that task will take some time.

Ammons said the redactions are to protect things like people's addresses and phone numbers.

Should Ammons approves the request to make public all of the videos, Hawkins is hopeful they will be ready for release next week.

North Carolina law prohibits law enforcement agencies from publicly releasing videos from body worn cameras, dashboard cameras and other department-operated video cameras without permission from a Superior Court judge.

Hash shot Walker to death after Walker attempted to cross Bingham Drive - a 45 mph, five-lane residential thoroughfare with no crosswalks in the vicinity - in front of Hash's pickup truck as Hash was driving with his wife and daughter.

Accounts of the circumstances from Hawkins based on witnesses her officers interviewed, and from a woman who was at the scene and spoken publicly about it, have conflicted: Did Hash crash into Walker and did the impact throw him onto the hood of the truck? Or did Walker jump on the hood after Hash came to a stop while trying to avoid hitting him?

.

The information the chief shared at a Sunday press conference suggested Walker broke off a windshield wiper and used the broken wiper arm to break the windshield of the truck before he was shot. Hash has said he was protecting his wife and daughter.

(This is a developing story and will be updated.)

This article originally appeared on The Fayetteville Observer: Judge approves release of police camera video in Jason Walker homicide

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