GRAPHIC - Bodycam Shows Officer Firing at Fleeing Driver
Louisville police released footage from officers' body cameras that shows the shooting that injured Nicholas Moses, along with what led up to it, and the aftermath. Though Lamb already has been cleared of criminal wrongdoing by the Boulder County district attorney, Louisville police are still conducting their own internal investigation to determine whether the responding officers followed departmental protocol. Moses, 25, was sitting in the driver's seat of a pickup truck when Lamb and Officer Ben Himes responded to a call of suspicious people and possible drug activity at the Village Square Shopping Center in the 500 block of South Boulder Road. On Himes's body camera, Moses can be seen initially getting out of the truck and following the officers' commands before running back to the vehicle as Lamb follows him and reaches into the driver window. Moses's father, John, and a dog can be seen in the passenger seat. Himes then deploys his stun gun on Moses, who backs up the truck and continues to try to get it in gear. On both body camera reels, Lamb can be heard saying, "Get out of the car right now!" repeatedly, followed by "I will (expletive) shoot you." Lamb can be seen alternating between a handgun and what appears to be his stun gun in the other hand. The footage then shows Moses backing up, before going forward again, and driving past Lamb — who fires seven shots into the driver's side of the truck as it goes past him, causing Moses to crash the vehicle a few yards away.
Moses, who was hit twice in the arm, is helped out of the driver's side door by Lamb, who applies a tourniquet to Moses's arm while John Moses gets out from the passenger side and is handcuffed by Himes. The dog was killed in the shooting. In the video, Moses can be heard asking "Am I going to die?" Lamb tells him he is not going to die as he applies the tourniquet, and Moses responds, "I'm sorry. I just didn't want to go to jail." Both men had outstanding warrants out for their arrest at the time of the shooting. Moses also can be heard telling Himes, who was placing his father in custody, that, "It wasn't his idea, it was mine," and, "Dad, I'm sorry." After Moses apologizes again, Lamb said, "That was a stupid idea. You rammed my patrol car and I thought you were going to run us over. That's why I shot you." Yet at no point in the video does it appear either officer was ever in front of the truck, and witnesses also said they never saw the truck drive in the direction of either Lamb or Himes. District Attorney Michael Dougherty wrote in his assessment of the shooting that state law allows the use of physical force "to effect an arrest or to prevent the escape from custody of an arrested person" and "to defend himself or a third person from what he reasonably believes to be the use or imminent use of physical force while effecting or attempting to effect such an arrest or while preventing or attempting to prevent such an escape."
But the Louisville Police Department's use-of-force guidelines state that "officers should move out of the path of an approaching vehicle instead of discharging their firearm at the vehicle or any of its occupants. An officer should only discharge a firearm at a moving vehicle or its occupants when the officer reasonably believes there are no other reasonable means available to avert the threat of the vehicle, or if deadly force other than the vehicle is directed at the officer or others." Lamb also told investigators he saw Moses throughout the incident reaching around in the truck, and was worried he was trying to find a weapon. Louisville police would not comment on the status of their internal investigation. Both Lamb and Himes were placed on administrative leave during the investigation but have since been restored to limited duty. Moses is facing charges of felony menacing, criminal mischief, obstructing a police officer, resisting arrest, reckless endangerment, reckless driving, driving under revocation and drug possession. Moses's father also faces two drug-possession charges. Heroin was found in the vehicle, according to police. Both men are in custody at the Jefferson County Detention Center.
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