LOS ANGELES – The family of a bystander accidentally killed by police when they tried to stop a gunman from entering a Los Angeles supermarket chain, recently released video of the shooting Tuesday, saying: it is carefully designed to paint officers in the best light.
The video has been released by the Los Angeles Police department shows officers chasing suspect Gene Evin Atkins after they say he shot his grandmother and kidnapped his girlfriend.
It includes about six minutes of footage from the 14 minute car chase, the subsequent shootout with the police outside a Trader Joe’s, and the hourslong standoff in the grocery store after the gunman took hostages. It also contains a long messages from two officials of the department.
Lawyers of the family of Mely Corado, the store manager killed by police in the shootout, called the video a “slanted public relations piece.”
“The POLICE has re-released footage which was edited and highly produced, carefully to tell’ their ‘story’ of the events that have led to Mely death,” attorney John Taylor said in a statement.
Despite several requests, Taylor said the department has refused to release her car, helicopter, and officer body-camera footage of the shooting.
“They don’t want any information released that could play negatively against them,” Taylor said.
Department spokesman Josh Rubenstein did not immediately return a message seeking comment. He is one of the officials of the department which relate directly to the viewers in the new video, saying: it is meant to help the audience “gain a better understanding of what happened that afternoon based on what we know at this time.”
He said that the department is still in the early stages of the investigation and have not drawn conclusions about the behavior of the officers involved.
The department previously released a few images of body cameras and in-car videos. Tuesday release contains more of such images, 911 calls about the initial shooting gave chase, and the officers’ radio traffic.
At a given moment, the video is in slow motion to see bullets flying from the back of the car that Atkins was driving during the wild chase through several Los Angeles neighborhoods.
It also captures the time Atkins crashes the car into a pole outside the Trader Joe’s, gets out, starts shooting and runs to the inside.
Images of police body cameras shows they return fire before and after the Atkins walks into the store, and at the moment the police says one of Atkins’ bullets hits a pole in the vicinity of a block wall where officers took cover.
Atkins, 28, has been charged with the murder in Corado death, kidnapping and carjacking. His arraignment is set for Sept. 19. It is unclear whether he has a lawyer.