A police officer in Fairfax County, Virginia, who shot and killed Timothy Johnson during an alleged shoplifting incident last month has been fired, the police chief announced when the bodycam video showing the fatal encounter was released on Mar. 23.
On Feb. 22, police responded to a reported theft at Tysons Corner Center mall and shot and killed Johnson, 37, of Washington, D.C.
Nordstrom's loss prevention officers reported that someone stole sunglasses from the store. According to Chief Kevin Davis, loss prevention officers led police to Johnson, who fled.
Officer James Sadler and Sgt. Wesley Shifflett chased Johnson out of the mall and into a small wooded area about a quarter of a mile from the mall, Davis said, noting that one of the officers was in plainclothes.
There are shots heard in the video as the officer yells at Johnson to "stop reaching" and "get on the ground".
The first officer fired two shots, and the second fired once. The cause of Johnson's shooting is still under investigation by the authorities, but Davis declined to comment on whether Johnson reached for anything.
Johnson died at a hospital after being shot once in the chest.
Davis said Shiftlett, the officer who fatally shot Johnson, was disciplined with an "administrative separation" for "failure to live up to our expectation" , while Sadler has been placed on modified restrictive duty.
The video was viewed Mar. 22 by Johnson's family and his lawyer, Carl Crews, who called the death "an execution."
"It doesn’t show the officer faced any danger, imminent or otherwise," he said at a news conference. "Justice delayed is justice denied. This officer should not have his freedom at this point."
Will we ever actually make it a priority to hold police officers accountable for murdering Black people?
Source: NBC News