Newly released from a police body camera in Virginia shows a police officer shooting a burglary suspect in the back as he tries to run away. The Virginian-Pilot obtained showing rookie Portsmouth Officer Jeremy Durocher wounding Deontrace Ward, who authorities described as an armed burglary suspect. Authorities say the shooting occurred in October as police responded to a robbery call in a residential neighborhood in the southeast Virginia city.
Witnesses said the video shows the shooting was unjustified.
Durocher’s attorney, Nicolas Renninger, said Ward was a clear danger because he was armed. Police said they found a loaded handgun in Ward’s pant leg but at no time does the video show the suspect pointing a weapon at the officer who took several shots at the fleeing man in a residential neighborhood which fortunately did not hit anyone else.
Earlier this month, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that cops can shoot first and ask questions later in a case where a woman holding a knife at her side was shot several times but fortunately survived. Justice Sonia Sotomayor who dissented in the case along with Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, said the ruling “tells officers that they can shoot first and think later.”
Ward is scheduled to stand trial May 1 on several felony charges. It’s not known if he has an attorney.