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article imageDashcam video released of cop shooting man holding a wallet

By Arthur Weinreb     Mar 12, 2017 in World
Opelika - After an appeals court upheld a lower court ruling that an Alabama police officer who shot a man while he was holding a black wallet acted reasonably, the Opelika Police Department released the dashcam video from the March 2014 incident.
Earlier this week, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals announced its decision. The three-judge panel unanimously ruled Officer Phillip Hancock made a “disastrous mistake” when he shot Davidson but upheld the lower court ruling that found the officer acted reasonably.
In their reasons, the appeals court found after considering all the evidence, including the video, and looking at it in a way most favourable to Davidson, “a reasonable police officer in Hancock’s position would have feared for his life.”
On March 6, 2014, Hancock received information about an SUV driving erratically on I-85. The driver of the SUV was later identified as Davidson, an Airman who was returning to base. When Hancock reached the SUV, it had been in a collision with a tractor trailer. The SUV was stopped behind the truck and parked on an incline, making it more difficult for the driver to get out.
The dashcam video shows after the police officer arrived, Davidson got out of his vehicle holding a black object in his hand. The Airman had difficulty getting out the door because of the way his vehicle was parked. When Hancock yells “Show me your hands,” Davidson then seems to point his hands in the officer’s direction, holding what turned out to be a wallet in both hands. Within seconds, Hancock fired two shots; one hit the ground while the other hit Davidson in the abdomen.
The truck driver can be seen in the video walking towards Hancock. After Hancock yelled “Show me your hands,” the tractor trailer driver put his hands in the air. He then ran the other way after the shooting began.
Davidson survived the shooting and sued Hancock, the police department and the city of Opelika. Davidson sought damages on the grounds of use of excessive force and failure to train police properly.
Davidson’s lawyer, Brian Mosholder, said although he appreciates the court system, the judges got this one wrong. Mosholder had difficulty with the court describing what Hancock did as “a disastrous mistake” yet still finding the officer’s actions reasonable.
Mosholder is waiting for Davidson to decide if he wants to appeal to the Supreme Court of the United States. The attorney thinks there is a good chance the top court will reverse the appeals court's decision.
More about Police shootings, dashcam videos, cop shows man holding wallet, justified police shootings, eleventh circuit court of appeals
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