The Fulton County district attorney’s office has released dashcam footage of the fatal police shooting of Alexia Christian.
Christian was shot and killed by two Atlanta police officers on April 30, 2015. Police say she stole a truck. When she was arrested, police say she managed to free herself from handcuffs in the back of a squad car. They say Christian shot at the officers with a handgun she’d somehow held onto. The officers fired back.
None of this is visible in the released footage, which shows the view out of the front windshield of the car. Gunshots are audible, however, after the sound of a struggle. A man shouts “put the gun down” repeatedly and a woman responds saying “I don’t have a gun.” More shots are fired and a woman is heard whimpering.
Fulton District Attorney Paul Howard declined to press any charges back in July. Howard has said Christian was not searched for a weapon before being placed in the police vehicle. He said his investigation found that because Christian had gotten out of the handcuffs and fired at police. The officers were absolved of criminal responsibility.
A statement from the mayor’s office calls the shooting “complex and tragic.”
“The video of this incident documents the unfortunate reality and potential dangers of what our officers may encounter on a daily basis.” the statement reads. “It is incredibly difficult to watch. We are grateful that Officers Cook and Thyme survived and have been exonerated. But we will continue to work to ensure that encounters like these that endanger the public and our police officers never happen again.”
Christian’s mother, Felecia Christian, released the following statement today:
“The handling of this case by Atlanta Police Department has been traumatizing to my family. The lack of transparency, professionalism and compassion has been heartbreaking. We will continue lifting up my daughter’s memory as we forever deal with her loss.”
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