RALEIGH, N.C. – Raleigh Police Department released body camera footage after protesters took to the streets, burning an American flag at the governor’s mansion and demonstrating at the chief’s house, in response to a police shooting that left an armed man injured.
The police agency released video Wednesday afternoon of Javier Torres, 26, running toward an officer during a foot chase Tuesday evening with an object that police identified as a gun. Moreover, a handgun was located at the scene of the shooting, police said.
Torres was shot once in the abdomen by the responding officer. As a result, he was rushed to a local hospital. His condition was not immediately released. Consequently, he was charged Wednesday afternoon with altering or removing a gun’s serial number; going armed to the terror of the public; and resist, delay, and obstruct, Fox News reported.
“As a result of the reckless and false information that has been spread on social media, a number of spontaneous protests occurred during the night which resulted in minor damage to property in and around the downtown area,” Raleigh Police Chief Cassandra Deck-Brown said in a Wednesday morning press conference.
Furthermore, the chief said one social media rumor about Torres holding nothing more than a pizza box was not true.
“You will see the individual does have a pizza box, but he also has a gun,” Deck-Brown said, according to the Raleigh News and Observer. “The body-worn camera footage will show that some of those statements were inaccurate.”
Hundreds of protesters gathered in the streets of North Carolina’s capital Tuesday night into Wednesday morning claiming police were slow to release information about the shooting. Some demonstrators arrived at Deck-Brown’s home, demanding she come outside. Others removed the American flag hanging outside the governor’s mansion – it was later seen on footage from Raleigh’s WRAL-TV burning in the street.
“Whose streets? Our streets!” demonstrators chanted, as lines of protesters and police faced off.
Deck-Brown’s department received approval from a judge to release the footage Wednesday afternoon. Therefore, several video clips were distributed around 5:30 p.m., the News and Observer reported.
Police responded to a 911 call around 6:45 p.m. Tuesday about a group of men “talking trash” and one of them “flashing” a gun outside a restaurant in eastern Raleigh, the Associated Press reported, citing a recording of the call.
In the body cam video, officers arrive in cruisers and identify Torres based on his description. A black object, which police said was the gun, is seen in his waistband and he holds a pizza in his hand. He fails to comply with the officer’s orders and quickly takes off on foot, forcing officers to chase him, the video shows.
“Drop the gun! Drop the gun! Drop it right now!” an officer behind him yells. The Raleigh News and Observer reported that some — but not all — of the audio was omitted from the clips.
Another officer approaches from a different angle and fires a shot from a few feet away as Torres runs in his direction, the video shows. Police said Torres was holding the gun in his right hand. Officers are seen giving first aid to Torres before an ambulance arrives, the AP reported.