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Tosa police will not release squad video of officer-involved shooting

By Aaron Mak of the Journal Sentinel

July 25, 2016 0

Jay Anderson, Jr.'s family is demanding more answers after seeing footage of his fatal shooting by a Wauwatosa police officer.

Based on what he saw in the video, Jay Anderson, Sr. says his son had his hands up and was trying to talk to the officer when he got shot, though the father said he won't be completely sure what happened unless he can see the rest of the interaction.

District Attorney John Chisholm and Chief Deputy District Attorney Kent Lovern met with the family and their attorney Thursday to show them a 20-second clip of the shooting and to let them listen to several minutes of police dispatch transmissions.

Chisholm then announced he would not object to the Wauwatosa police making the recordings public.

However, Anderson said he doesn't believe the clip of the June 23 shooting tells the whole story.

"They just keep showing us the 20 seconds when he was killed," Anderson said.

Anderson does not want that clip released to the public unless authorities also release footage of what happened before and after the shooting, which he believes was caught by a camera at a nearby school.

But Lovern says the footage from the school's camera — which was not shared with the family — only shows cars going in and out of the parking lot and did not capture anything related to the shooting.

Lovern also said there is no squad video showing what happened before the 20-second clip began. That clip only exists because the officer manually activated the system to recover it after he shot Anderson, according to Lovern.

On Friday, after numerous community protests demanding that he release the squad video, Chisholm put out a news release that read, in part: "The District Attorney's Office has determined that the release of any audio and video record would not hamper its continued review of this incident."

The release goes on to say it is up to the Wauwatosa police whether to make the recordings public.

In a statement released later Friday, Wauwatosa Police Chief Barry Weber said: "It is our understanding that the Anderson family wishes the video not be released at this time."

He added that because the release of incomplete information could cause misunderstandings, he would not release the video until Chisholm makes a final determination about whether to file charges against the officer.

Wauwatosa Lt. Brian Zalewski later noted that even if the family had consented to the release of the recording, the agency still would not make it public.

"We're not going to release the video without the rest of the information," said Zalewski. "It's a disservice to the public."

Wauwatosa police also have not released the name of the officer who shot Anderson.

The shooting occurred as Anderson sat in his car in the parking lot of Madison Park. The officer, who was investigating a report of a suspicious vehicle, feared for his safety because Anderson had a gun, according to Weber.

Anderson's family has said he was sleeping in his car and legally owned the gun.

Milwaukee police led the investigation into Anderson's shooting in compliance with a state law requiring a team of at least two investigators from an outside agency to lead investigations of officer-involved deaths.

The district attorney's office received the Milwaukee Police Department's report last week, but prosecutors have not yet said when they will make a final decision about whether or not to charge the officer.

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