The family of a man killed by Seattle police officers this year has questioned the official version of events, but there is no video of the shooting because none of the officers’ dashboard cameras were on.
Eight SPD officers rushed to the February call of a mentally disturbed man holding his father hostage with a knife. They eventually shot and killed the man after he raised an 18-inch piece of rebar.
The Seattle Police Department has acknowledged that it doesn’t have any video of the encounter in which officers shot and killed 21-year-old Jack Sun Keewatinawin in February.
The Seattle Times reports that none of the officers had the dashboard cameras in their cruisers turned on during the encounter.
The case has gotten the attention of a federal monitor overseeing reforms at the police department, after the Justice Department found that Seattle police had a pattern of using excessive force.
The department says that even though it’s been using the cameras in its entire fleet since 2007, some of the responding officers weren’t trained in how to work them, others arrived straight from the start of their shifts and didn’t have time to electronically synchronize them, and others never activated the cameras by turning on their emergency lights.
The department’s Firearms Review Board found the shooting justified. Police said the man brandished an 18-inch piece of rebar as he approached an officer who had fallen down.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.