Dash cam footage from fatal officer-involved shooting in North Little Rock released

We explain the choices we made in showing the video of the North Little Rock police dash cam video in which Charles "CJ" Smith is shot and killed.

NLRPD released dash cam footage in the officer-involved shooting of Charles "CJ" Smith Jr. Police added slow-motion effects and circle to video before releasing to media. Sgt. Brian Dedrick said the prosecutor allowed the release of the video but the editing effects by them were so the media could easily see the weapon during the struggle.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) — Police showed the media a portion of the dash cam video from one of the patrol car’s that pulled over Charles "CJ" Smith on Wednesday, Jan. 10 and described the situation.

Smith, 17, was shot and killed after a traffic stop on Sunday around 1 a.m. Since then, North Little Rock Police said, rumors have been spreading and threats have been made against officers.

That’s why North Little Rock Police Chief Mike Davis called a press conference Wednesday to release dash cam video of what led to the shooting.

"Step on out for me real quick, okay,” the unknown officer said to the driver of the vehicle.

It started as a traffic stop on the 5200 block of Camp Robinson Road early Sunday morning.

"Officers observed a vehicle traveling Northbound on Camp Robinson Road at an excessive speed and with a headlight not functioning properly,” Davis said at the press conference. "The vehicle was occupied by three subjects: the driver, the front passenger and the right rear passenger, Charles Smith Jr.”

"Why were y'all driving so dadgum fast,” the officer said.

"As long as I've lived on Camp Robinson, I thought this was a 40,” responded the driver.

"A 40? Even if you were doing 40… let's get out of traffic real quick,” the officer said.

During the stop, you hear the officers engage in conversation as the subjects are frisked. Chief Davis said the men were frisked based on suspicious behavior.

"What's going on, man? You just seem super uptight, nervous,” the primary officer featured in the video asked the driver.

"I just wasn't expecting to get pulled over. It wasn't in the agenda,” the driver said.

"It happens,” the officer said.

You hear the officer asking if there's anything they should know about. The other two men, an 18 year-old and a 21 year-old, comply with police and are seated on the sidewalk. Finally, CJ Smith is removed from the car.

"Step on out buddy”, the officer said. "You ain't got nothing crazy on you, do you?"

“No," Smith said.

"No? Okay. I'm going to check, okay. Spread your feet a little bit. There you go. Are those the new Air Force Ones, man?"

"Yes sir."

"How do you like them? Hey, what are you doing?"

"I've got some weed on me." 

"A little bit?"

"Yes sir."

"Now, don't reach in your pocket."

"That's my phone."

"Ok. I've got you. Ain't nothing but a little bit of weed. Like for real? Don't reach!"

"It's only a little bit. I told you I went to a party. I bought a little bit."

"I ain't going to find nothing else in here right? Quit reaching partner."

Three officers were at the scene.

In the video, you hear the officers tell Smith not to reach for his pocket four times. You hear a scuffle and see an officer and Smith fall to the ground. Another officer holds a taser to Smith.

"I can't go to jail,” Smith said.

"Get your ******* hands down,” one of the officers yelled at Smith.

"It's a ******* taser,” it appears Smith explained of what was in his hand.

"It's a ******* gun,” one of the officers screamed.

The video edited by North Little Rock Police. In it you see what looks like a gun in Smith's hand very close to the two other men.

One runs.

The other rolls out of the way.

As officers appear to try to subdue Smith, he then points the gun at officers, cocks the weapon and fires twice. Officers then returned fire.

It is worth noting again that we at THV11 did not edit this video. This is the way it was provided to the press. The only changes we made were the bleeps, due to language.

North Little Rock Police have not identified the other men, but have told us they are not in custody. They also have not identified the officers due to safety concerns.

In the car, they found another gun. It is registered as stolen. The gun Smith was using is not registered as stolen. Police haven't told us who that gun belongs to.

They say all of that information will be included in the case presented to the prosecutor, who will determine whether or not the shooting was justified.

The case is still under investigation.

© 2018 KTHV-TV


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