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Released body camera footage shows Weber County officer-involved shooting

Posted at 10:00 PM, Apr 04, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-05 09:52:40-04

WEBER COUNTY, Utah — The Weber County Attorneys’ Office released police body camera footage of an officer-involved shooting in Harrisville.

Harrisville Police say they were called to a domestic disturbance on March 23.

Three officers, one each from the Harrisville, North Ogden and Pleasant View police departments responded.

The video shows officers arriving at the apartment and encountering a broken door.

After about two minutes Jamal Bell walks into the frame. The video shows him with what appears to be knives in each of his hands.

“Hey, come talk to us, what do you got man,” one of the officer asks. “Put those down. Drop the weapons now!”

Police are heard making more than 15 commands for the man to drop the items in his hands.

“Drop the knife now! Take another step forward, I will shoot you,” one of the officers screams.

Less than a minute after officers first encountered the man, they fire several shots after he appears to take a step toward officers.

Bell survived the shooting and is recovering.

FOX 13 showed the video to civil rights attorney Jim McConkie.

“It’s just typical, obey us or we will shoot you,” McConkie said as he watched the video.

He believes officers could have used better de-escalation tactics to prevent having to fire their weapons.

“When you have three officers and three guns, and one man and one knife, that's what you call, not a fair fight,” McConkie said. “It looked to me like he was beginning to respond. He turned around a couple of times and dropped one of the knives.”

But the president of the Weber Fraternal order of Police sees things from a different perspective, as someone who is on the front lines in potentially dangerous situations.

“The officer is giving demands, pretty professional, pretty cordial and the person is just not responding to those commands and the person is so close,” Darick Fisher said of the video. “The person runs at them, very easily could have injured one of those officers.”

He says the decision to use force isn’t easy and officers are trained to use force only as a last resort when their safety is in jeopardy.

“Comply so we don’t have to use force, that’s what we want. At no point do we want to use force,” Fisher said.

The Weber County Attorney is investigating to determine if the use of force was justified.

The officers involved are on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation.