Raleigh police on Friday released the body camera footage showing an officer shooting Daniel Turcios in the back, depicting a chaotic confrontation that led to the local father’s death. 

Turcios was driving with his wife and two children when their vehicle crashed and rolled over on Highway 440 near New Bern Avenue. Witnesses say Turcios was knocked unconscious following the crash, and was disoriented and confused when he awoke. A 911 caller said Turcios appeared intoxicated and police said Turcios was armed with a small knife, which he swung at officers.

Chief Estella Patterson petitioned the courts for the release of the footage, which was granted by a judge Wednesday. 

The videos released by Raleigh police show a chaotic scene following the crash, opening with Turcios’s 20-year-old son laying on the ground with a back injury. Turcios is walking along the highway holding his 7-year-old son. A man on a cell phone points at Turcios and states, “he’s highly intoxicated,” as Turcios walks past heading back toward the site of the crash.

Turcios puts the child down and attempts to speak to the officers in Spanish while a bystander tells Turcios to calm down. Turcios does not appear to understand any English. Turcios then begins to argue with a family member before going over to his older son to comfort him with a hand on his chest. Fire and EMS personnel then arrive and begin assessing the family, including Turcios.

During this time, Turcios pulls out a small knife. Captions on the video provided by RPD claim Turcios swung the knife at a firefighter, though it is unclear from the footage that that is what’s happening. When the officer approaches, fire personnel can be seen standing calmly next to Turcios.

An officer commands Turcios to put the knife down. He shakes his head and says, “no.” 

The officer draws a weapon and points it at Turcios. Turcios’s wife, Rosa Jerez, attempts to take his knife away, and Turcios instead grabs his 7-year-old son and attempts to pull him away from the crash. 

Jerez grabs the child away from Turcios and Turcios begins to walk away with his back turned to officers.

This is when the confrontation escalates. 

Police officer W.B. Tapscott fires his taser at Turcios’s back as he is walking away, and Turcios drops to the ground. Officers attempt to subdue Turcios as he struggles to get up, with the knife in his hand. Turcios lunges toward officers attempting to escape. 

That is when officer A.A. Smith fires two shots at Turcios, who falls to the ground. Turcios again tries to get up, and Smith fires three more times at Turcios, who falls and appears to be bleeding heavily. The footage blurs out Turcios’s face at this time.

Police then handcuff Turcios before administering any life-saving care. His family and children can be heard screaming hysterically in the background.

District Attorney Lorrin Freeman will decide if the shooting was justified and whether criminal charges will be pressed against the officers involved. Two years ago, Freeman declined to press charges against Tapscott after he shot and killed Keith Collins. Collins was shot 11 times, seven after he had already fallen to the ground.

Emancipate NC’s Dawn Blagrove hoped Freeman would press charges against the officers, noting the situation did not escalate into violence before an officer fired his taser at Turcios’s back.

“The violence that ensued in this instance was completely and entirely at the hands of RPD,” Blagrove said “It was not until Mr. Turcios was fighting for his life that he even lifted the knife.”

“This man was not posing a threat,” Blagrove continued. “Yes, he was holding a knife, but we also live in an open-carry state where a white man walking in downtown Raleigh with an assault rifle was not deemed a threat, yet in this instance, a brown man with a small pocket knife warranted execution on site.” 

You can watch the footage of the Turcios shooting below. 

YouTube video

This is a developing story.

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