On January 8, a White off-duty North Carolina deputy shot and killed a Black man for allegedly jumping on his truck and breaking his windshield wipers and windshield. But the black box computer in the truck shows no evidence of impact on a person.
The Fayetteville shooting of 37-year-old Jason Walker by Cumberland County Deputy Sheriff Jeffrey Hash has fueled demand for transparency by the public. Hash has worked for the Cumberland County Sheriff's Office since 2005. He was put on administrative leave.
Hash was in the truck with his wife and daughter at the time of the shooting. To avoid conflict of interest, Hash's case was assigned to the North Carolina Conference of District Attorneys.
Several days of protests in Fayetteville and downtown Raleigh followed Walker's killing.
Body Cam Footage Released
In videos released by the Fayetteville Police Department, witnesses describe the aftermath of Walker's shooting.
Officers are on the scene, and medics are attending to Walker, who is lying on the ground. A trauma nurse who witnessed the shooting said she was unsure whether Walker had jumped on the truck, but she saw Hash start shooting him while still inside the vehicle. She said it looked like Hash hit Walker and then began shooting him. The woman, who rendered medical aid to the dying Walker, had his blood on her hands as she spoke.
A man identified as Walker's father corroborated part of Hash's account. He said his son was in the street when Hash pulled up. According to Walker's father, Hash shot Walker after he jumped on the hood of the truck. He said his son had no mental health issues. Walker was unarmed.
Officials also released Hash's 911 call, in which he says, "I had a male jump on my vehicle and break my windshield. I just shot him." Hash identifies himself as a lieutenant with the Cumberland County Sheriff's Office.
According to Hash, the man was running across the road, and he stopped to avoid hitting him. That's when he says Walker jumped on the truck.
Outside, bystanders are heard yelling, "Why did you shoot him?" to which Hash replies, "I don't know."
State Self-Defense Laws
An attorney representing Hash said his client is "devastated" for the Walker family, but North Carolina self-defense laws are involved.
Under state law, an occupant of a motor vehicle can use defensive force intended or likely to cause death or serious bodily harm if the threatening person is in the process of, or has already, unlawfully and forcefully entered the motor vehicle - or was attempting to remove a person from the vehicle against their will.
Perhaps the question comes down to this: An unarmed man is beating on your car. Do you shoot him, or drive away?
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