ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A father of a man shot by Albuquerque police filed a lawsuit against the department this week seeking the release of public records tied to the shooting.
The lawsuit comes as David Sherrill and the attorneys sought lapel camera video, dashcam video, and witness statements related to the December shooting of Shaine Sherrill, KOB-TV reports (http://goo.gl/Lw2qQk).
Police Chief Allen Banks said four days after the shooting that the 34-year-old didn’t have a gun but was [auth] holding an object that officers and witnesses mistook for one. Banks showed a still from a lapel camera from the shooting but said he wouldn’t release the full footage while the investigation into the shooting was ongoing.
Banks called Sherrill’s actions before the shooting “overt and deliberate” and said officers felt threatened and believed he had a firearm. But despite witnesses telling police Sherrill had a gun and fired at officers, “there was no gun on scene,” Banks said.
Banks said a knife and metal brake pad were found near Sherrill.
The department also has not released information requested by Sherrill’s family and media outlets connected to the shooting.
Attorneys said Sherrill survived, but suffered extensive injuries to his legs.
“(Officers are) out there saying that my client pointed something at the police officers, and he adamantly denies it, and we’d like to know the truth. We’d like to see what they have,” attorney Joe Kennedy said.
City officials said they would not comment on pending litigation.
The Albuquerque Police Department currently is under a U.S. Justice Department investigation over alleged cases of excessive force. The department also has been under fire for three dozen shootings by officers since 2010.
Justice Department officials told advocates this week that federal officials are nearing the end of its investigation into the department but declined to say when it would be complete.