BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Even with the bodycam videos released Tuesday by the Birmingham Police Department, Desmon Ray’s family and their attorney, Richard Rice, said it was not enough to absolve police of using excessive force because the family had still not seen every angle.
“What was clear then and what’s clear now is Mr. Ray was shot while he was running away. What I didn’t see in the video is Mr. Ray holding a weapon or firing a weapon,” said Rice.
The Ray family and Rice doubled down on their claim that Desmon Ray was not posing a threat to police when he was shot and killed by a BPD officer Easter Weekend.
BPD Chief Patrick Smith walked the public through the two video angels the department released, directing attention to the audio. Smith said to listen for a single shot, then a couple of seconds of silence, then multiple shots.
Smith said Ray fired the first shot.
Rice countered that claim and said not to rely on what you hear but what you can see. He said dashcam video would clear up who fired the first shot.
But BPD said that video is unavailable because all officer cars did not have dash cams at the time this incident happened. Rice said from his understanding the cruiser did have a dashcam.
“If that video were available, it could potentially help us understand what happened immediately as Mr. Ray was exiting his vehicle,” Rice explained.
Many questions still remain along with demands for policy changes including the use of cameras and transparency.
“When we take a perspective of Birmingham being a reputation for being a beacon for civil rights and human rights, and the fact that the city is 75% African American, it does present a unique opportunity for us to carve out how policing should like in this city and also to set an example for other communities as well.
Rice said they will wait to see if any criminal charges will be filed by the District Attorney against the officer.
Rice said a civil lawsuit is likely.