Published May 17, 2018
Police announced Thursday that they will release body camera footage involving an officer's fatal shooting of a naked, unarmed man who they say ran onto an interstate highway in Virginia and then charged at the officer.
The Richmond Police Department identified the officer involved as Michael Nyantakyi, a 10-year veteran of the force, and said he was placed on administrative leave while the investigation continues into the shooting of Marcus-David Peters, 24. Police identified both as African-Americans.
The department said it would release body camera footage from Monday's fatal shooting once Peters' relatives had had an opportunity to view it. Authorities did not give a timeline for when the family would see the video or when it would be released.
"I want to clear the air and set the record straight," Chief Alfred Durham said in a statement. "There is so much misinformation out there right now."
Police, meanwhile, have asked anyone with photos or videos from Monday's confrontation to come forward.
The incident began during the Monday afternoon rush hour when an officer observed Peters strike another vehicle with the sedan he was driving and then flee the scene, police have said. Peters lost control of his vehicle, striking two other vehicles on the on-ramp to Interstate 95 before emerging naked from his disabled vehicle and running onto the highway, they have said.
Peters then ran back toward the on-ramp and "charged" the officer, who deployed his stun gun, police said in a statement. That was "ineffective," so the officer fired his gun, striking Peters, the statement said.
Peters' mother, Barbara Peters, said her son was a high school science teacher who graduated with honors from Virginia Commonwealth University.
That behavior "was not who my son was," she said earlier this week.
His sister, Princess Blanding, said Thursday that no matter the race of the officer, "the way that police handle black men and women has to change."
Police should be equipped with more options for such situations, like sedatives, she said.