police-involved shooting that has stirred tensions and protests in Roxboro, North Carolina, was a justified use of force, according to a defense attorney who reviewed dashcam footage of the death of David Earl Brooks Jr.
Brooks, 45, was shot to death on July 24, by Roxboro police. After days of protests, police released dashcam footage of the incident.
Lee Turner, a former police officer who now works as a defense attorney in Raleigh, North Carolina, said the video shows the threat the officers were facing, according to WRAL.
“You can see the weapon, and you hear ‘Drop the gun! Drop the gun,'” he said. Brooks does not drop the gun. He is then killed by what appears to be one shot.
WARNING: The following video contains graphic violence that some viewers will find offensive.
“In this case, if you apply the law, you’ve got an officer who is responding to a 911 call of a man with a gun,” Turner said. “You hear the officer give the command for him to drop it, and as he brings it up, now you’ve reached that threshold of the statute where there’s an imminent threat. Therefore, it’s justified to use deadly force.”
Turner said the the police officer involved “has a 911 call from a concerned citizen, so he has no choice at that point, as is his duty to go and investigate,” he said.
The shooting could have been avoided by Brooks, he added.
“We wouldn’t be sitting here talking about this today if he’d just laid the gun down on the side of the road,” he said.
Protesters marched after the shooting took place.
John Tucker III, who is Brooks’ cousin, said Brooks carried a gun but was not violent, according to WRAL.
“He walked the road every day. He don’t bother anybody. He don’t start no trouble or nothing,” Tucker said. “He probably had one of those guns he had on his chest. It was visible. He wouldn’t hurt nobody, though.
“I just don’t believe that he would do anything for them to take it this far,” Tucker said. “He ain’t going to fight against authority. He already knows he can’t win, [so] why would he do that?”
The two officers involved in the shooting have been placed on leave while the incident is reviewed by the State Bureau of Investigation, WRAL reported.
Tanillya Partridge, a cousin of Brooks, demanded what she called justice.
“You shoot my cousin in the street like a dog. We want justice,” she said. “We are not going to stop until we get justice for David Brooks because he never hurt anybody.”
“David was very paranoid of the police, so I can only imagine the hundreds of thousands of things that was going through his head, but being shot by an officer was not one of them,” Brooks’ brother, Cozette Brooks, said.
David Brooks Sr. , the victim’s father, wants the officer who killed his son to be fired.
“From one to three seconds of him getting out the car – my son was dead,” he said.