Update: D.C. Releases More Body-Camera Footage Of Fatal Shooting Of Terrance Parker, Names Officer
Update: D.C. on Wednesday released the name of the officer involved in last week’s fatal shooting of Terrance Maurice Parker, 36, at an apartment in Southwest, along with 19 minutes of additional body-camera footage from another officer who responded to the scene.
In a letter to D.C. Councilmember Charles Allen, Deputy Mayor for Public Safety and Justice Chris Geldart said Officer Howard Lee fired the shots that killed Parker. Lee joined the department in mid-2019, and is on administrative leave pending the outcome of an investigation into the incident.
The additional 19 minutes of footage come after the initial release on Sunday of the video from Lee’s body-camera. The new footage shows Parker’s shooting from a different vantage point, though it doesn’t more clarity on police claims that Parker had pointed a gun at an officer and the woman who initially called the police to reporting a domestic incident.
The footage does show officers struggling to call for assistance after the shooting, largely because of poor radio and cellphone service in the building. It also shows that roughly five minutes elapsed between when Parker was shot and when the officers secured the scene and were able to provide aid. When that happens, Lee, who sounds panicked, is coached by the second officer on how to address Parker’s wound.
Lee — who is heard at times gasping for breath — is also taken downstairs to await investigators; other responding officers advise him to say “nothing until the rep gets here,” likely referencing a union representative or attorney.
“This wasn’t supposed to end like this,” says the woman at one point in the footage. “If he has a gun this is how it ends,” responds the second officer.
Original: D.C. Police on Sunday night released body-camera footage showing the fatal shooting of Terrance Maurice Parker in an apartment in Southwest D.C. on Friday night.
Parker, 36, was killed after police were called to his apartment for what they said was a “domestic dispute.” According to a narrative published by MPD on Friday night, Parker “suddenly brandished a firearm and pointed it at the female and one of the officers.” He was then shot, after which officers “rendered aid” and he was transported to a local hospital, where he died.
The footage shows the two officers knocking on an apartment door. A woman opens, and says, “Get this bitch out of my house,” referring to Parker, who is seated on a bed on a phone in his left hand. As an officer circles around the woman, he says to Parker, “Sir, what do you have there?” Parker leans back and is seen drawing something that appears to be a gun out of his right pocket and point it in the air; it remains unclear from the footage whether he did point it at the woman or an officer. One of the officers then fires his gun at Parker three times.
Police shared an image of the gun they said they recovered from Parker. The department’s Internal Affairs Bureau and the U.S. Attorney for D.C. will investigate the shooting, as will the Use of Force Review Board. The two officers have been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation.
D.C. did not release footage from the second officer’s body-worn camera.
Parker’s death is the first fatal shooting by police since last fall’s killing of 18-year-old Deon Kay. Similar to Parker’s case, police said Kay brandished a gun during a police chase; the body-camera footage showed Kay raising his arm with the gun in it, though some said he was merely trying to throw the gun away. Federal prosecutors said in November they would not pursue charges against the officer who shot and killed Kay.
The footage of Parker’s death comes under a new law passed last year that speeds the release of video from fatal incidents involving police. Under the new law, city officials have five days to make such footage public; before doing so, they have to let the family view it and allow them to object to its public release. The D.C. Police Union unsuccessfully sued to stop the new provision, saying it would put officers at risk and endanger investigations.
DCist/WAMU wasn’t able to immediately find Parker’s family for comment, but they did tell The Washington Post that they do not believe he was pointing his gun at the officers. “Terrance appeared to be complying with police directions,” said Parker’s sister in a statement.
On Twitter, Black Lives Matter D.C. said the police had lied in their initial narrative about what Parker did with the gun.
According to data submitted by MPD to the D.C. Council, in 2020 police were involved in nine shootings, one of which was fatal — Kay’s. So far this year, there have been eight police shootings, with Parker’s being the first fatal one. According to a recent report from the D.C. Office of Police Complaints, use-of-force incidents declined by 22% in 2020.