Body Camera Video Sheds Light on Cleveland Police Shooting

A police officer spent 90 seconds trying to get man who'd shot him to drop gun.

ByAbc News
October 09, 2015, 10:04 AM

— -- A recently released video from a police officer's body camera reveals the tense minutes that led up to officers in Cleveland, Ohio, fatally shooting an armed man in his home.

In a statement released Tuesday, the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor's Office said that the March 11 shooting death of Theodore Johnson, 64, was "justified" and that the four officers involved in the shooting had been cleared.

"The evidence is indisputable," the statement said.

In a detailed letter to the Cleveland police chief, prosecutor Timothy McGinty said that Johnson had been drinking March 11 and had threatened to shoot his wife and their landlady.

When Johnson fell asleep, the letter said, his wife went to a police station to report the incident. McGinty said that six officers had gone to the home.

Body camera video, worn by one of the officers, showed Johnson shooting at and hitting Officer David Muniz as the cops climbd a set of stairs in the house. Muniz was wearing a protective vest.

"I've been hit," Muniz said on the video.

Despite being shot at -- and having a bullet lodged in his vest -- Muniz spent 90 seconds trying to get Johnson to drop the gun.

"Go ahead and shoot me," Johnson said in the body-camera video.

"No, we're not going to shoot you," Muniz said. "I know you shot me but I’m not going to shoot you."

When Johnson raised his gun toward the officers, McGinty said, he was shot. According to McGinty, Muniz was not one of the shooters. The prosecutor's office said that the evidence had been investigated by the sheriff's department as well as presented to a grand jury.

In the letter to the police chief, McGinty said: "In light of these events, these officers were justified in their use of deadly force because Mr. Johnson posed an immediate and continuing threat to the lives of the officers and innocent citizens. ... The officers were left without a reasonable alternative. ... This case is closed."

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