"We don't wanna do this, man. Stop! Stop!" an officer shouts over and over again before police in Atlantic County shoot a Pennsylvania man who charged at them with a broken bottle, dramatic video released Friday shows.
Officers alternately implore and command Amir Johnson, 30, to drop the bottle the Aug. 6 late-afternoon standoff in the middle of a Ventnor highway.
“Put it down, bro, we don’t wanna do this,” an officer shouts.
"Drop the bottle! Drop it! Stop! Stop!" the officers repeatedly shout at Johnson, of Wilkes Barre, to stop, but he doesn't, the video shows.
He's only feet away when the officers open fire. Johnson died at a local hospital nearly two hours later.
Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal released the police bodycam audio and video recordings from the incident on Friday after sharing them with members Johnson’s family.
CLICK HERE for the clips: Amir Johnson shooting
Ventnor and Atlantic City police had responded to a 911 call of a man behaving “erratically” at the corner of Wellington Avenue and West End Avenue shortly after 4 p.m. that day., the attorney general said.
They found Johnson “walking in and out of a marshy area along the roadway while holding a broken glass bottle in his hand,” he said.
The officers tried to help him, Grewal said, but Johnson refused repeated requests and then commands to drop the bottle.
“Instead, he continued to walk back and forth on the roadway, where officers had stopped traffic for safety reasons,” the attorney general said.
Moments later, Johnson “advanced on officers with the broken bottle in his hand and multiple officers fired their weapons, fatally wounding him,” Grewal said.
An ambulance took him to AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center in Atlantic City, where Johnson was pronounced dead around 6 p.m.
State law requires that the Attorney General’s Office conduct investigations of a person’s death when it happens "occurs during an encounter with a law enforcement officer acting in the officer’s official capacity or while the decedent is in custody."
Grewal’s Office of Public Integrity and Accountability was continuing its investigation into the shooting, the attorney general said.
He released the recordings Friday under a directive that he issued last year that requires doing so when requested in a use-of-force law enforcement incident "once the initial phase of the investigation is substantially complete."
That ordinarily takes 20 days, Grewal said.
“Under state law and the Independent Prosecutor Directive, when the entire investigation is complete, the case will be presented to a grand jury, typically consisting of 16 to 23 citizens, to make the ultimate decision regarding whether criminal charges will be filed,” the attorney general said.
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