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Family of police shooting victim asks judge to release body camera footage

Friends and family members hold candles during the funeral service of Iaroslav Mosiiuk at JB Tallent Funeral Service on Monday, March 20, 2017. Mosiiuk was fatally shot by Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police on March 8.
Friends and family members hold candles during the funeral service of Iaroslav Mosiiuk at JB Tallent Funeral Service on Monday, March 20, 2017. Mosiiuk was fatally shot by Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police on March 8. dtfoster@charlotteobserver.com

The family of Iaroslav Mosiiuk, a Ukrainian immigrant killed by a Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officer in March, is asking a superior court judge to release video of Mosiiuk’s death to the public.

They filed a formal request Tuesday through their attorney, Lauren Newton. Members of the family watched the video in March.

Police were called to help Mosiiuk because he seemed to be in the midst of a mental health crisis, looking for a rifle and saying he didn’t want to live. His sister tried to tell officers that the gun was missing a component and would not work.

Mosiiuk’s autopsy showed that he died from a single shot to the back. After the autopsy came out, CMPD said Officer Brian Walsh shot Mosiiuk from that angle because he was pointing a rifle at another officer on the scene, leading Walsh to perceive an imminent threat to the second officer’s life.

A lawyer for the family said the body camera footage is inconsistent with that rationale.

In the audio accompanying the body camera footage, the lawyer said Walsh can be heard saying Mosiiuk had pointed a rifle at him.

The family also watched body camera footage from another officer, who yelled that he saw Mosiiuk and then ran to take cover behind a house across the street.

Two requests for the same footage — this one and one filed last week by local activists — will likely be heard at the same time.

The process of asking a judge for footage from dashboard and body cameras began in fall 2016, and only a few requests — mostly from media organizations — have been successful so far.

Wester: 704-358-5331; @jwester

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