Officer's body cam video in deadly north Charlotte shooting released
CHARLOTTE - Body cam video of a deadly officer-involved shooting in north Charlotte was released Monday afternoon.
A Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officer who shot and killed a man armed with a rifle earlier this year on Justice Avenue was cleared by the district attorney.
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The decision by the DA on Thursday came just hours before a judge agreed to release body camera video from the deadly shooting.
WSOC first reported on the case March 8 when Officer Brian Walsh shot and killed Yaroslav Mosiiuk outside a home on Justice Avenue.
A neighbor told dispatchers that Mosiiuk was having a mental breakdown at the time.
The report said when the officers arrived at the scene, they saw Mosiiuk with a gun and ran for cover.
An image from Officer Michael Dezenzo's body camera included in the report showed Mosiiuk pointing a rifle at Walsh. Moment later, a second image from Walsh's body camera shows Mosiiuk pointing the rifle at Dezenzo and that's when Walsh fired one shot, hitting Mosiiuk in the back and killing him, according to the report.
"Faced with a man who placed himself in a firing position and pointed a rifle at the back of a fellow officer, who was running for cover, Officer Walsh's actions on March 8, 2017, were in conformity with the laws of North Carolina, and it is my conclusion that his use of deadly force was justified," DA Andrew Murray said in a letter to CMPD Chief Kerr Putney.
During Thursday afternoon's hearing on the body camera video, no one objected to the release of it. But there were different opinions on what the release of the video would prove.
"I think it's always important to have footage released, and CMPD has said they're committed to transparency," said Lauren Newton, the attorney for Mosiiuk's family.
Newton wouldn't comment on the DA's decision not to charge the officer, but said they Mosiiuk's family still believes officers went too far after his sister called 911 and said her brother was acting strangely and that he might have a gun.
"At the end of the day, this was a mental health call and if this is the way that mental health calls are handled then people would be afraid to call the police," Newton said.
Attorneys for the two officers involved in the case said they believe the video will show that officers had no choice.
Attorney Mike Greene, who represents Walsh, said it was not simply a mental health call.
"What the officer knew at the time is not that there were mental health issues but that there was a person who came out with a long-range gun. That gun doesn't have mental health issues," Greene said.
Walsh said he fired because he felt he was in danger. He was placed on leave during the investigation and it is unclear when he will be reinstated.
It not clear exactly when the video will be released. Police have to take out a part of the video at the judge's order and then it will be released to attorneys and the media.