LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) – A store surveillance video obtained by a Kentucky television station shows a man violently swinging a flagpole at a Louisville Metro Police officer before police say the officer fatally shot him.
Police said the officer responded to an assault call Saturday in Old Louisville, a neighborhood near downtown Louisville. The video WHAS-TV (http://bit.ly/1HGevjv) said it got from a nearby smoke shop shows the officer talking briefly with the man, who seems to become agitated and walks away from the officer.
The video, which was broken down into segments, shows the officer take a few steps forward, pull his gun and appear to call for backup before the man advances toward him swinging the flag pole. At one point the flag pole breaks.
The video shows the officer pointing his gun at the man, but doesn’t show him firing.
Police declined to identify the slain man or the officer.
Police Chief Steve Conrad said the officer fired two shots in self-defense.
The man was taken by ambulance to the University of Louisville Hospital, where he later died.
Kenneth Williams said on the WHAS report that he witnessed the shooting and believes the use of deadly force was unnecessary.
“He could have maced him,” Williams said in the video. “He could have used his stun gun.”
The shooting has stirred emotions in the community, where neighbors said the man was known to residents. The Courier-Journal in Louisville reported that local activists planned a meeting Sunday to discuss the shooting.
Nick Holiday told The Associated Press on Saturday that he knew the man well and that he lived in an apartment building not far from the shooting site. Holiday, and others who had gathered at the intersection Saturday evening, questioned why the officer resorted to deadly force when faced with a flagpole, rather than use a Taser or other non-lethal means. They called for a quick and transparent investigation.
The Police Department’s Public Integrity Unit is investigating. The officer was placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of that inquiry.
Contacted by the AP for further information Sunday, police did not immediately respond.
The 22-year-old woman who was assaulted was treated for her injuries at a hospital and released. Police did not disclose the nature of any relationship between her and the man.
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