Yesterday (Feb. 16), a Shreveport, Louisiana police officer was arrested on a charge of negligent homicide in the fatal shooting of Alonzo Bagley, an unarmed Black man, earlier this month, Louisiana State Police announced.
During Officer Alexander Tyler’s appearance in court Thursday, an investigator for Louisiana State Police informed the judge that the recently released bodycam footage showed that “Bagley’s hands were up in a split second” after the shot was fired. During their crime scene investigation, investigators found no weapon on Bagley.
On Feb. 3, Shreveport law enforcement responded to a domestic disturbance call at an apartment complex, police stated. While at the apartment, Bagley reportedly jumped from the balcony, and a brief foot chase ensued. When Bagley was located, he was shot in the chest by Tyler. He was transported to receive care but died due to his injury.
While in court, the cop stated that the view from the footage was impeded by the way he turned the moment the shot was released. CNN reports that the officer’s attorney, Dhu Thompson, hopes the bodycam video is reviewed “thoroughly and a decision is made based on facts and evidence.”
“Officers are always faced on a day-to-day basis with dangerous situations like that and at times where they have to make split-second decisions where they’re in a potential life-threatening situation,” Thompson said.
“The mere fact that an argument is being made by the investigator in court that he was unarmed does not necessarily mean that he is not a threat to the officer,” he added. The state police investigator also told the court that Tyler had his gun out during the chase, while the second unnamed officer “holstered his weapon” when Bagley jumped from the balcony.
And just like investigators, Bagley’s family could also watch footage of the shooting Thursday morning, one of their lawyers revealed. Afterward, state police released video from Tyler and the unnamed officer’s body-worn cameras. Police video from the unnamed officer showed the two cops entering the apartment building, walking up the stairs, and knocking on the door. After Bagley opened the door, the cops asked him to step outside, but he refused.
Law enforcement then followed Bagley inside the apartment as he said he would put the dogs away. The officers told him to allow someone else at the residence to do it and followed him into a room, where he went onto the balcony and jumped onto the ground. The cops went back through the apartment and down the stairs to chase after Bagley. A little under a minute later, Tyler found Bagley, and a shot was heard.
Bagley was shot in the chest. He fell to the ground slowly as he was heard saying, “Oh no! Oh, God, you shot me.” Per state police, Tyler “inadvertently” turned off the bodycam, then turned it back on “within one second” after he let off the shot that resulted in Bagley’s death.
The video showed Tyler walking back to Bagley with his gun in hand. The other cop turned Bagley on his back and began first aid as he called EMS. He also informed Tyler to head to the front of the building, which he did as first responders arrived. After watching the footage, Xavier Sudds, Bagley’s brother, spoke with the news channel about his thoughts on the video.
“He was not threatening in any kind of way,” Sudds said. “Why did a domestic call turn deadly? I think at this point, the only thing I’m wondering is just, you know, the procedure, the procedure. Why did it happen like it happened?”
Shreveport Mayor Tom Arceneaux also spoke with the news outlet, on the video, as he opened a news conference yesterday with a prayer and offered an apology to Bagley’s family. “It was hard for me to watch,” Arceneaux said of footage of the shooting. “And I’m sure it was excruciating for the family to watch. It is heartbreaking for the family and all concerned. This is the kind of experience I hope no one has to endure.”
“Now is the time for all of us to begin the healing process,” the mayor added. “We should surround the family with our love, support, and prayers.”
The family of Bagley has filed a federal wrongful death suit against Tyler. They are seeking over $10 million in damages and claim that Bagley’s Fourth Amendment rights were violated.