The decision by a Stark County grand jury not to indict a Canton police officer for the fatal shooting of 46-year-old James Williams on New Year's Day has sparked protests and calls for improved transparency by many in the community.
The story, by now, is well known: Williams was firing an AR-556 into the air from his fenced patio to celebrate the new year when officer Robert Huber, who was responding to reports of shots being fired in the neighborhood, approached and, without announcing himself, shot Williams through a wooden fence.
The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation was called in to conduct an independent investigation. Following the grand jury's decision on Sept. 7, BCI released its report into the shooting. Canton police are now conducting an internal review of the officer's actions.
Timeline of events: James Williams' death at his Canton home
Based on the level of interest in the community and the calls for more transparency, the Canton Repository spent the last several weeks examining nearly 1,400 documents made public by BCI, including interviews, videos, audio and photos. Authorities and the city of Canton had been tight-lipped about the shooting as the investigation progressed, and many details had not been available to the public.
But the BCI documents provide many new details about what led up to the shooting.
They include videos of Williams and family members firing a variety of weapons in the air. They reveal that Williams was on a video call with a friend at the time he was fatally shot. And it includes a nearly hour-and-a-half video of Huber talking about what happened and why he pulled the trigger.
"My initial thought was, 'OK, we'll just surround the house,'" Huber told investigators what he was thinking when he first arrived at the scene. "We'll call him out. We'll get the gun. It will be really easy and we'll be fine."
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Inside the Ohio BCI investigation:New details, videos emerge in shooting of James Williams
This article originally appeared on The Repository: Why we looked closer at the fatal shooting of James Williams