Police body-camera footage from a shooting that left six bystanders and a suspect injured last month in Denver’s Lower Downtown neighborhood was released Tuesday, following an announcement by the city’s district attorney that a grand jury will be reviewing the case.
Last month, three officers from the Denver Police Department fired seven shots at 21-year-old Jordan Waddy after they saw him with a gun. The pursuit happened early July 17 as crowds were dispersing in the 2000 block of Larimer Street, near Larimer Beer Hall. Waddy had been in a fight with another person on Larimer Street right before police encountered him.
Six people in the crowd were caught in the crossfire, all with varying degrees of injuries to their arms, legs and chest.
Two of those victims — Yekalo Weldehiwet, 26, and Bailey Alexander, 24 — said last month they were looking for answers as to why police fired shots into an open crowd. Many have also been calling for police to release footage of the shooting. Both victims said they were suffering pain and sleepless nights after they were shot in their arms and shoulders.
Police previously said two officers saw Waddy remove a gun from his jacket pocket, and that a third officer who had followed Waddy around a vehicle and onto the sidewalk saw Waddy pointing a gun at the officers, before he fired one shot at Waddy.
The body-cam footage, which circulated widely Tuesday after its release by the city shows a lot of commotion on a crowded street. Police are eventually seen trailing a guy, presumed to be Waddy, around a white food truck. Waddy, wearing a black hoodie, is seen holding his hands up briefly as he moves around the truck with police following after him.
Police then give commands for Waddy to “get down.” They begin firing shots at Waddy as he tosses his gun to the ground.
Denver District Attorney Beth McCann on Tuesday said she will ask a Denver grand jury to open an investigation and review the incident.
“The public’s interest in this particular shooting incident is understandably high,” McCann said in a statement. “For the community to trust in the outcome from this incident, it is important that independent members of the community review the facts, evidence and law regarding whether these officers should be criminally charged.”
She said the DA’s office will have no further comment until the grand jury’s work is done.
In a statement released Tuesday by local civil rights law firm Rathod Mohamedbhai, the lawyers hold police responsible for what they say was reckless behavior.
“The footage demonstrates what we already knew to be true, Denver Officers acted with extreme recklessness, intentionally firing live rounds toward a dense crowd,” the firm said. “The footage further shows the suspect, Jordan Waddy, throwing his own firearm in apparent compliance with officers’ commands in the moments before they opened fire into the crowd.”
Rathod Mohamedbhai commended DA McCann for calling upon a grand jury to review the case, but stood firm on their position that Denver’s officers must be indicted.
“It is a miracle that more bystanders were not injured and that nobody was killed,” the statement said.