Newly released body camera footage shows Dallas police officers fatally shooting 38-year-old Jason Harrison, a mentally ill man who held a screwdriver while standing in his doorway, in June.
Harrison’s mother had called police on June 14, 2014, for assistance in escorting her son — who was bipolar and schizophrenic but off of his medication — to an area hospital, the Dallas Morning News reported. She had informed the dispatcher of Harrison’s mental disorders, details of which were given to officers, according to the Dallas Morning News.
“He’s just off the chain,” she says in the graphic video, uploaded to YouTube. “Bipolar schizo.”
In the video, officers John Rogers and Andrew Hutchins order Harrison multiple times to drop a small screwdriver he’s holding before firing at least three shots.
Harrison is shown collapsing against the house’s garage door.
“Oh, you killed my child,” Harrison’s mother Shirley yells. “Oh, they’ve killed my child.”
The incident was the first time that a Dallas Police Department officer’s body camera documented a fatal officer-involved shooting,the Dallas Observer reported.
The video was released after Harrison’s family obtained it through a federal civil rights lawsuit filed in October, in which they claim Harrison did not pose a threat and that officers should have tried other methods of force before resorting to using their firearms, according to the Dallas Morning News.
The officers, who are back on duty, feared for their lives, said their attorney, Chris Livingston. Police had claimed that Harrison had made violent threats and became aggressive when they arrived.
“You can’t de-escalate someone coming at you with a weapon,” Livingston told the Dallas Morning News.