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Body Cam Video Shows Black Male Shot By Cops Complied With Commands

Paralyzed 19-year-old is suing Milwaukee Police Department as officers' shooting was deemed "justified".


Body cam footage released from an August 2017 shooting of an unarmed Black 19-year-old male in Milwaukee shows him complying with officer commands as he was shot several times.

Jerry Smith Jr. survived gunshot wounds to the abdomen and head, but is paralyzed and wheelchair-bound. He has had multiple surgeries, infections in his heart, and a bullet still lodged in his body.

Officers Melvin Finkley and Adam Stahl, who both shot Smith, were saying in the video that Smith didn't have a gun on him, but must've had it hidden behind the air conditioner.

Activist Shaun King pleaded with social media to watch the video, which is jarring:

"We're asking the U.S. Attorney's office to now look at this video, make an independent decision or recommend to District Attorney Chisholm to submit this to a grand jury," Daniel Storm, a forensic investigator working with Smith's attorney Walter Stern, said. "His right leg, he has partial use of it. We can only hope that the US attorney would get involved because we may have a violation of civil rights."

"An unarmed man had committed no crime, no criminal history, no drugs and is getting on the ground with his fingers spread when the officer opened fire," said Storm. "Lucky to be alive because the one bullet just grazed his head."

"I really don't know why they shot me," Smith said. "OK, I ran, but he, the officer, scared the hell out of me, man. He got off that bike grabbing his gun, grabbed the gun. Cause I matched the description of someone having a gun, I ran."

Storm released the body-camera video from officer Adam Stahl: "People just need to see this. Police 'can buy toys and all the ice cream they want but until they're held accountable, the Black community will never trust a cop."

The Milwaukee County District Attorney's Office ruled that shooting was justified. Officer Melvin Finkley said in a statement that he "perceived Mr. Smith was reaching for a weapon concealed behind the air conditioning unit."

"Officer Adam Stahl said that he shot Smith because he "feared for Officer Finkley's safety and for his own."

There is no independent investigation. The officers are on administrative duty and the city is backing them.

Smith is suing Milwaukee and the police department. "I'd like to see some change, real change where we don't have shoot first, ask questions later," added his attorney, Walter Stern.

Reader Question: There was no independent investigation because the DA deemed the shooting justified. Should there have been an independent investigation?

The Conversation (3)
27 Nov, 2018

As a former Law Enforcement Officer it is upsetting that these incidents continue to occur.

1- hold the City, PD and Officers accountable.

2- officers must follow thei training and stop the COWBOY behavior in the street.

3- citizens MUST VOTE politicians that don’t protect the community out of office, replacing them with individuals that care and protect.

votetocorrect27 Nov, 2018

That shooting needs to be investigated by seasoned vets and training officers.

Coast Guard Lieutenant Plotted to Kill Democrats and Journalists

Christopher Paul Hasson's intended targets included Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Sen. Cory Booker and CNN's Don Lemon.

Authorities have arrested Christopher Paul Hasson, a 49-year-old coast guard lieutenant, who intended to conduct a mass killing.

Hasson is a self-proclaimed white nationalist who had a detailed plan to execute prominent Democratic politicians as well as several journalists from CNN and MSNBC. He devised his plan with inspiration from Anders Breivik, who successfully completed terrorist attacks in 2011 that killed 77 people in Norway.

In order to get prepared to carry out his mission, Hasson accumulated steroids and human growth hormone "to increase his ability to conduct attacks," as outlined in Breivik's manifesto.

According to court documents filed on Tuesday, Hasson intended "to murder innocent civilians on a scale rarely seen in this country."

Documents also state that "the defendant is a domestic terrorist, bent on committing acts dangerous to human life that are intended to affect governmental conduct."

A spokesman for the US Coast Guard Headquarters, Barry Lane stated, "An active duty Coast Guard member, stationed at Coast Guard Headquarters in Washington, D.C., was arrested last week on illegal weapons and drug charges as a result of an ongoing investigation led by the Coast Guard Investigative Service, in cooperation with the FBI and Department of Justice."

Because this is an open investigation, the Coast Guard has no further details at this time.

While the master plan was to "kill almost every last person on the earth," his current hit list consisted of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, of New York, Sens. Chuck Schumer of New York, Cory Booker of New Jersey, Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut and Kamala Harris of California, as well as former Rep. Beto O'Rourke of Texas. Journalists on the list included CNN's Don Lemon, Chris Cuomo and Van Jones and MSNBC's Chris Hayes, Ari Melber and Joe Scarborough.

When law enforcement agents searched Hasson's house, they found 15 guns and more than 1,000 rounds of ammunition. Hasson is scheduled to appear in Court on Thursday for a hearing.

Proud Boys' Chairman Sat Behind Trump at Miami Rally

Proud Boys is a far-right, extremist group, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center.


On Monday, President Trump gave a speech in Miami to his supporters, and a member of the Proud Boys — who wore a "Roger Stone Did Nothing Wrong!" T-shirt — sat in a prime spot behind him.

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Middle School Student Arrested After Refusing to Recite Pledge of Allegiance

Ana Alvarez, a substitute teacher, asked the student why he continues to live in the U.S., "if it's so bad here."

An 11-year-old boy was arrested for not following orders and "causing a disruption" when he refused to recite the Pledge of Allegiance in class.

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Rev. William Barber Condemns Evangelicals Who Support Trump's Policies

"I'm a Christian evangelical, I grew up in the Christian faith, and one of the most clear public policies that you're supposed to engage in as a just society is fairness toward the strangers, immigrants," Barber said.

The NAACP and Rev. Dr. William Barber called out evangelical Christians who back President Donald Trump's family separation policy, and called the policy racist.

"We see this happening," Barber said, "and this attack on children — we know it's brown children, it wouldn't be happening if it wasn't brown children at the southern border — is white supremacy, white nationalism, being implemented in our public policy right in front of our faces."

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Racist Shopper Threatens to Call ICE on Haitian Woman, Keys Her Car

"I will take your photo and send it to ICE. You don't belong here," said the attacker.

Lola Jean-Baptiste, a Haitian immigrant with U.S. citizenship, was attacked and threatened by an angry middle-aged white woman in Brockton, Mass.

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State Sen. Nikema Williams: 'I Was Unlawfully Arrested at the Georgia Capitol — My Workplace'

Williams is taking a stand to prevent the mistreatment of women of color by law enforcement.

WSB-TV Screenshot

Georgia State Sen. Nikema Williams, the first Black woman elected to lead the state's Democratic party, was jailed last year for just standing among protesters at the state Capitol. Williams is now taking a stand to prevent the mistreatment of women of color by law enforcement.

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