New York Attorney General Letitia James has ordered an investigation into the July 3 fatal shooting of a Black man by officers from the New Rochelle Police Department. Jarrell Garris, 37, died one week after being shot by an officer in New Rochelle, New York, after being accused of stealing fruit.
According to FOX 5 New York, Garris was approached by the police around 4:30 p.m. after he was allegedly seen eating a banana and some grapes from a grocery store on Lincoln Avenue near North Avenue. Garris was approached by Detective Steven Conn and officers Kari Bird and Gabrielle Chavarry after receiving a 911 call from the grocery store about a food theft.
Video of the moments leading up to the shooting was released by the New York Police Department and captured the two officers talking to Garris before attempting to arrest him. As Garris noticed the two police officers, he tried to avoid them by casually crossing the street with his hands in his pockets.
“Hey. Listen, we’re just trying to have a conversation,” said one of the officers. “What were you doing in the store? You were eating the food?”
“You’re under arrest,” said Conn.
“For what?” asked Garris.
The bodycam video then shows two of the officers attempting to arrest Garris and a struggle ensues as one of the officers yells to “taser him.” A few seconds later, the male cop yells, “He’s got a gun. He’s got a gun!”
The video, which at this point appears to show Garris with a small object in one hand, ends before the actual shooting. According to the police, Garris went for one of the officer’s guns.
Garris died at the Westchester Medical Center after being on life support for one week.
During a New Rochelle City Council meeting on July 11, the community demanded that all of the bodycam footage be released in the name of transparency. The Garris family attorney, William O. Wagstaff III, says that the public has been given the “veneer of transparency” by only releasing part of the video.
“We’ve gotten what appears to be a veneer of transparency,” said Wagstaff. “What true transparency means is releasing all video, all information, and they haven’t done it.”
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