Authorities released surveillance video and 911 calls from a fatal police encounter on Friday, during which officers in Pasadena, California, deployed a Taser to subdue a mentally ill Black man wielding a knife, The Washington Post reports.
Relatives identified the victim as Reginald Thomas, 36, a father of eight who suffered from bipolar disorder, reports the Los Angeles Times. When news spread about the shooting Friday, more than 100 people marched in the city’s streets to protest yet another death in the nation at the hands of police.
Pasadena Police Chief Phillip Sanchez said it was important to release the information to the public.
“From my perspective, releasing the video reduces angst and allows the community to see what we have seen, and they can draw their own conclusion based on that information,” he stated Friday at a news conference.
Alluding to widespread unrest in Charlotte, North Carolina, following a decision to delay releasing videos of a police shooting, Sanchez said he wants to protect his officers and protesters from injuries.
According to The Times, Thomas’s brother called police to report a domestic disturbance about 2:30 a.m. on Friday. The caller said Thomas had a knife and was “high,” but had not threatened anyone.
When they arrived, the police used a Taser to subdue Thomas when he refused to comply with their command. But police said it failed to stop Thomas, and a scuffle ensued. During the confrontation, officers said they noticed that Thomas stopped breathing, so they tried to save his life through CPR until paramedics arrived, the report says. However, Thomas died at the scene.
Shainie Lindsay, who identified herself as Thomas’ partner, told NBC Los Angeles that officers used excessive force. “They knew he was disabled, they knew he was bipolar, they knew he was on Social Security, and they still killed him,” Lindsay added.
This comes on the heels of the officer-involved shooting of Alfred Olango, a Black man, on Sep. 27 in El Cajon, California, a San Diego suburb.
The Post said the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department is investigating Thomas’ death.