Deadly police-involved shooting was “justified”

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NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) - The New Orleans police officer, who shot and killed a man during a suspicious traffic stop followed department rules. That's according to the officer's attorney and the city's top cop.

WGNO News Reporter Darian Trotter has the latest on the investigation and reaction from the neighbors.

Not even 24-hours after a traffic stop ended with a deadly police-involved shooting, an attorney for the New Orleans officers is calling it unfortunate, but justified.

Based on the information released to the public and word on the street, people in the Central City neighborhood agree.

"People just saying police shot someone. I said what you mean police shot someone. They guy jumped out his car and pulled a gun on police and police say it's self-defense. He pulled a gun back and shot the guy," neighbor Byron Robinson said.

The Police Public Integrity Bureau is investigating the shooting that began around 11 o'clock Wednesday night, when officers stopped a suspicious vehicle near the intersection of Josephine and LaSalle streets.

According to investigators, the driver got out and ran; leaving his male and female passengers behind. He eventually fired shots at police who were chasing him.

The incident was caught by the officer Matthew Bencik's body camera.

"Body camera reveals there was pleasant interaction with the officers and the occupants in the vehicle up until the time the suspect decided to take off running," Superintendent Michael Harrison said.

"The cops tell you to stop, stop. Why pull a gun out on them? Just stop and take your charge. Go to jail, get it over with and get released. If not you shoot at police, you get what comes to you," Robinson said.

In a media conference, Harrison said he's confident footage from the body camera will reveal department rules and policy were followed.

"I think this makes everyone feel more confident, especially me. But the evidence is there to support that the officer responded to this, that the subject did, in fact, shoot at the officer. So even with all that supporting evidence this just makes everybody feel a little bit more comfortable that we're doing what we say we're doing. We're following policy and we're a constitutional police department," Harrison concluded.

Omar Jackson, 37, died Thursday morning at Interim LSU Hospital.

His two passengers ran away and have not been arrested.

Officer Bencik has been reassigned pending the outcome of the PIB investigation.


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