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

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

Latest News

Parents protest over Critical Race Theory education in schools

Florida Legislature Issues Initial Approval of Bill That Would Prohibit White ‘Discomfort’ During Black History Education

Even though the Florida Department of Education has already banned the classroom teaching of Critical Race Theory, lawmakers in the state are attempting to go even further, passing a law to protect whites’ “feelings” during education dealing with Black history.  Amy Simonson of CNN reported that a bill backed by…

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell

Mitch McConnell Under Fire for Claiming Black Americans Are Not ‘Americans’

As the battle to protect voting rights continues in the nation’s capital — sadly with little success — veteran politician and minority leader of the U.S. Senate, Mitch McConnell, has come under fire for a statement he made that implied Black Americans were not “full” Americans. Bruce Schreiner of The…

Toyota Earns the Most R&D Patents Among Automakers in IPO Rankings for 8th Consecutive Year

Originally published at Toyota ranked No. 7 on The DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity list in 2021.   The United States Patent and Trademark Office awarded Toyota more patents than any other automaker in 2021, according to an annual ranking by the Intellectual Property Owners Association (IPO). Toyota’s engineers…

Wells Fargo Announces New Initiative To Help Customers Avoid Overdraft Fees and Meet Short-Term Cash Needs

Originally published at Wells Fargo ranked No. 25 on The DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity list in 2021.   Wells Fargo announced new efforts to limit overdraft-related fees and give customers more flexible options to meet their personal financial needs. These offerings, which include earlier access to direct deposits,…