On Friday, the California police released body camera footage documenting a Fullerton officer shooting to death a 17-year old girl Hannah Williams.
Though the video released on Friday does not clearly show what happened at the moment when the girl was shot on July 5 and also does not capture the audio of the firing.
The police department has however said that the footage showed her in a “shooting stance” holding a fun that the officer later discovered was fake. William’s lawyer who saw the raw video said that he believed the girl was pointing the toy weapon.
The footage shows the girl falling to the ground and the unnamed officer shouting doesn’t move as she rolled on the pavement. It was also documented that the officer commanding her to roll on her stomach which she did.
A witness and an off duty officer appear on the spot and the first officer handcuffed the girl as she lay face down and pleaded that she can’t breathe and calls for help.
Following the release of the footage, Lee Merritt, the Williams family’s lawyer, questioned why the officers handcuffed the girl and left her handcuffed in a critical moment.
“She was clearly not a threat. She was clearly begging for help. She was responsive,” he said. “There was some unnecessary and undue delay,” he said.
A police spokesman for the Fullerton police department said it was “standard practice” to handcuff someone in this type of scenario. “An officer has no idea how badly injured someone is, if they possess another weapon,” Jon Radus wrote in an email, adding, “The possible bad scenarios are endless.”
The girl was shot last Friday evening, after leaving her house in the family’s rental car.