Little Rock police release dashcam video in Roy Lee Richards shooting

LRPD release dashcam video in Roy Lee Richards shooting

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - The Little Rock Police Department has released dashcam video and audio from the night Roy Lee Richards was fatally shot by police.

Police went to East 8th Street on October 25, 2016 after receiving several calls about a black man with a long gun on the street causing a disturbance. Richards' uncle, Darrell Underwood, was one of the people who called 911. He told a dispatcher that he wanted Richards "out of my yard and away from my house."

"Now, don't hurt him," Underwood said.

In the video, officers arrive on scene by turning onto Commerce Street with their lights and sirens turned off. Both Officer Dennis Hutchins and Officer Juston Tyer park their vehicles on Commerce Street, never turning onto East 8th Street.

Hutchins gets out of his vehicle and said that the two men were fist fighting. As he runs towards the fight, Hutchins is carrying a long gun and appears to cock it.

According to a press release, police say that the two men stopped fighting as they approached and Richards walked to a dark colored SUV.

Once Richards came back into the view of the officers, they said he began to chase the other man while "pointing a long gun at his back."

Around 30 seconds pass before Hutchins fires his gun without a verbal command. The verbal command to "drop your weapon" comes directly after the first shot has been fired.

The press release stated that Hutchins felt that Richards was going to shoot the other man in the back. Richards was carrying an air rifle at the time of the shooting.

Underwood told the local chapter of Black Lives Matter that he was inside his house when Richards was shot by police.

A lawsuit has been filed by Richards' family against Hutchins, the city, and Chief Kenton Buckner. The lawsuit claims that Hutchins did not have approval to use the assault rifle he used to shoot Richards.

"Roy Richards was executed that early morning by officers who never gave him a warning," said Mike Laux, an attorney for the family, "who should not have been using an assault rifle and who quite literally hid in the dark, behind bushes and cars, and when they got a free shot, they took it."

In the police department's use of force policy, an officer may only use a carbine rifle at the direction of a supervisor, if they believe a suspect has access to a high-powered weapon, if they believe the suspect has body armor, an active shooter, or an armed barricaded suspect.

If an officer decides to use a carbine rifle, the officer must make a "radio broadcast on the primary radio channel for that incident to notify" other officers of the intent to use the rifle.

In March, Pulaski County Prosecuting Attorney Larry Jegley announced that Hutchins would not be charged for the shooting.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

© 2017 KTHV-TV


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