Household and family members of Derek Diaz, who was fatally shot final week by police in Orlando, Florida, say viewing officers’ body-worn digital camera footage of the encounter has solely left them with extra questions.
Diaz, 26, was shot within the early morning hours of July 3 after he was approached by a number of officers whereas sitting in a parked automotive, in accordance with physique digital camera footage launched Wednesday by the Orlando Police Division.
Within the footage, an officer may be seen approaching Diaz from the driving force’s facet of the automotive. After briefly talking to Diaz, who seems to be complying, the officer opens the automotive door whereas telling Diaz to place his palms on the steering wheel. Diaz then reaches his proper hand towards the automobile’s heart console earlier than an officer fires what seems like a single gunshot.
Lower than a minute passes between the officer approaching Diaz and the shot being fired, the video exhibits.
Officers rendered help to Diaz till first responders arrived and transported him to a hospital, the place he was pronounced lifeless, police mentioned.
The footage was proven to Diaz’s household earlier than its launch however provided them little closure, household lawyer Natalie Jackson mentioned.
“They thought they may get solutions,” Jackson mentioned. “What we noticed on the video left extra questions than solutions.”
Amongst these questions, she mentioned, is why police initially approached Diaz.
Jackson mentioned the video exhibits Diaz “sitting peacefully in a legally parked automotive when he was aggressively approached by three armed cops, and in lower than one minute, he was shot.”
In an announcement launched with the physique digital camera footage, police mentioned Diaz tossed an object out of the window after he was shot “that was later recognized as narcotics.”
Orlando Police Chief Eric D. Smith mentioned in a statement that officers “proactively patrol to take away unlawful medicine and crime weapons” from Orlando streets. He added that the intersection close to the place Diaz was confronted had seen “431 incidents within the final 18 months.”
Jackson mentioned Wednesday that Diaz was unarmed, and there was not a gun in his automobile.
Sonja Nava, the mom of Diaz’s younger daughter, mentioned Wednesday that the video doesn’t present Diaz committing any wrongdoing.
“All we all know from that video is that he was sitting in his automotive. He was doing nothing flawed. In lower than a minute, he was lifeless,” Nava mentioned whereas talking to reporters.
Smith mentioned he and his division “perceive the necessity for solutions.”
“Sustaining the integrity of the investigation course of can be wanted in order that the information are supplied pretty and transparently. An investigation entails not solely physique worn digital camera video of the incident but additionally consists of the gathering of witness testimony,” the police chief mentioned.
The division has not launched the names of the officers current through the taking pictures. The officer who fired was unhurt and has been positioned on administrative go away, it mentioned.
The police division is cooperating with a Florida Division of Regulation Enforcement investigation into the incident, Smith mentioned. The division additionally mentioned it would conduct its personal inner investigation.