Bodycam footage of the March 10 shooting of Lorenzo Clerkley Jr. has been released as his family prepares to file a lawsuit against the Oklahoma City Police Department.
What We Know:
- Sergeant Kyle Holcomb was the responding officer to 911 call of a break in at an abandoned house in southeast Oklahoma City. According to the Oklahoma City Police Department, the caller advised that at least two of the possible suspects had guns but they weren’t sure if they were real.
- Shots can be heard on the bodycam footage was Holcomb approaches the house. Holcomb states, “I think its a cap gun, but they are shooting something off.” Holcomb is outside of the fence as Clerkley emerges from the house. Holcomb shouts “Show me your hands! Drop it!” Then immediately fires off four shots through a hole in the fence. Holcomb is heard radioing in the incident, “Shots fired. Shots fired. Black male with a gray hoodie had the gun.”
- Dan Smolen, Clerkley’s lawyer confirms that the bodycam footage is unedited.
- A photo of the suspected gun that Clerkley had has been released. It was a BB gun that looked similar to a real handgun. The gun was found in the backyard of the abandoned home.
- Holcomb was on a paid leave while the homicide detectives investigated the incident but has returned to work. This is a routine procedure anytime officers fire their service weapons. Captain Robert Mathews, the police department spokesperson states that they are still waiting on the results of the investigation.
- David W. Prater, the district attorney, decided not to file criminal charges against Holcomb.
- Clerkley’s family feels that the bodycam footage shows that the shooting was not justified and instead shows the misconduct of the Oklahoma City Police Department. Maki Habefeld, a professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, told The Washington Post, “He asks the teenager to drop his hand sand show the gun. And then immediately he shoots. There’s no time lapse between ‘show me the gun; drop your hands,’ and then he fires…he’s already pushing the trigger.”
Clerkley has returned back to school after being out for three weeks for his injuries. He was also charged with a misdemeanor for breaking and entering into the abandoned house.