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Officer's Fatal Shooting of Florida Robbery Suspect Caught on Video


Sunday, 06 Dec 2015 01:59 PM

A police officer shot and killed an alleged bank robber on a Miami Beach street on Saturday after feeling threatened with a razor, officials said, in an incident some bystanders caught on video and that was posted on Instagram.

In attempting to rob a Bank of America at about 10:30 a.m., the man presented a note saying he had a bomb, but he left without any money and went to a barbershop a block away, Miami Beach Police Chief Daniel Oates told reporters.

Police waited outside the shop for the man, who came out shirtless and armed with a straight-edged razor, Oates said.

"He was challenged by the officers in the street," Oates said, "At some point during that confrontation he did raise his hand with a straight edge razor in it. He was shot. One officer fired, we believe two shots."

The Instagram video, apparently taken from across the street, showed the officer pointing a rifle directly at the man's chest. The view of the man is partially blocked but shows him slightly moving one hand.

The officer fired the gun and the man fell backwards to the ground. People can be heard in the background of the video reacting with screams and sounds of surprise.

High-profile killings of black men at the hands of mainly white law enforcement officers in U.S. cities have fueled demonstrations for some two years, stoking a national debate on race relations and police tactics.

In the Miami Beach shooting, the officer is Hispanic and so was the suspect, Oates said, but did not disclose their identities. The shooting, under department policy, will be investigated by the Miami-Dade Police Department, he said.

Event photographer Marcellus Johnson, 41, of Miami filmed some of the confrontation on his cell phone and said many other bystanders were doing the same. Johnson, with the firm NLPG, posted his video on Instagram.

"The police officers were trying to keep him calm and get him to remove the sharp object," Johnson said in a telephone interview. "You could feel the tension, that something was about to happen."

Johnson said the man was yelling at the officers and making gestures at them.

"He started moving a little bit towards them," Johnson said. "When he puts his hand on the police car, he said something. We couldn't hear what he said, but whatever he said triggered that police officer to start shooting."

© 2017 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

 
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A police officer shot and killed an alleged bank robber on a Miami Beach street on Saturday after feeling threatened with a razor, officials said, in an incident some bystanders caught on video and that was posted on Instagram. In attempting to rob a Bank of America at...
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2015-59-06
Sunday, 06 Dec 2015 01:59 PM
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