Officer Turns Body Cam Off Before Shooting Suspect in Forehead, Dept. Doesn’t Disclose to Media
Posted by: Police State Daily in Police State Enforcement
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A New Orleans police officer who shot a suspect in the head on August, 11, turned her body camera off before the incident – and now police are apologizing for not disclosing the event.
Police say Officer Lisa Lewis got into a fight with a man during a traffic stop on Mimosa Court in Algiers. During the altercation, she shot 26-year-old Armand Bennet in the forehead.
Bennet’s attorney, Nandi Campbell, said her client never resisted, and she claims the officer fired a second shot at her client as he ran away.
The officer’s attorney countered that Lewis had turned her body camera off because her shift was about to end and she was on her way back to the Fourth District station when she initiated the traffic stop that led to the shooting.
“What good is the camera if officers are able to take them off and just put them on the side?” Campbell asked. “There’s supposed to be some sort of checks and balances, so if we have an officer who has no problems shooting at a man two times. Why should I be surprised that she took the camera off? I’m not surprised at all.”
“We want the officers to wear body cameras when they’re engaged with somebody in the public, and we know many times that is going to happen and sometimes things happen very fast and they might not be able to,” said New Orleans Police Chief Ronal Serpas. “But I don’t know yet. I haven’t seen this case.”
It’s unclear if there’s any additional video from the scene, like dashcam footage for example, but the New Orleans Police Department has came under scrutiny for not disclosing the incident to the public until after it was already reported in the media days later.
In fact, the police department didn’t even acknowledge its role in the shooting until the Times-Picayune reported it:
NOPD Superintendent Ronal Serpas apologized to the public, calling the failure to disclose the shooting “a complete snafu.”
Serpas said at a news conference that he “personally authorized” a news release at noon Monday, about eight hours after the officer-involved shooting injured a man wanted on non-violent felony warrants. But the release was never sent, and the chief didn’t mention the incident to reporters at two news conferences since the shooting, on Monday and Tuesday. “Clearly, it fell through the cracks,” he said.
Serpas said Lewis and the suspect had gotten into a scuffle a week before the August, 11 incident, and Bennett got away. He said that prompted the NOPD to issue four different warrants for Bennet, including one for marijuana possession, weapon possession, resisting an officer, and property damage.
The attempts to serve these warrants culminated in the August, 11 traffic stop, Serpas said. The shooting and the events that led up to it are under internal review.
Amazingly, Bennet survived the gun shot wound to the head.