Desmon Ray’s family views body cam video of his death by BPD

What they saw and what they say needs to happen next
Updated: May. 3, 2021 at 10:45 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - The family of a 28-year-old Birmingham man shot and killed by a Birmingham Police officer Easter weekend is speaking out after viewing the body cam video they’ve been demanding to see for weeks.

The family viewed the body cam video the last week of April and said what they saw doesn’t show Ray as the aggressor.

“He was running away. They weren’t running. They were shooting,” Desmon Ray’s aunt Deandra Ray said.

Deandra Ray said she was hurt, disheartened, and disturbed by what she - along with Ray’s parents and grandmother - saw on the video.

“We never saw a gun. It shows him running away,” she said.

WBRC has also requested to view the body camera video. Our request was denied. The General Counsel for ALEA said the video is part of an ongoing investigation and not a public record, but rather privileged documentation and protected from disclosure.

Police previously reported they confronted Desmon Ray during a domestic call, but he drove off and refused to stop, said investigators. Ray eventually hit a fence along 9th Avenue West. Police claim Ray got out of the car with a gun and was shot by police.

Deandra Ray said a state autopsy showed Ray was shot twice from behind in the neck and back.

The family’s attorney Richard Rice says they’ll likely file a civil lawsuit, but they must wait on the State Bureau of Investigation to send their report to District Attorney Danny Carr who will decide whether to pursue criminal charges.

“We want accountability. We want the person who did this to be held accountable. You took a human life. It was a life taken,” Deandra Ray demanded.

Deandra Ray said the family also wanted policy changes and protocol requiring working equipment. She said police told her the dashcam was not working that day, so that video was unavailable.

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