Owner of video showing controversial police shooting speaks only to News 8

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You’ve likely seen the stunning surveillance video first obtained by News 8 showing a wild police shooting in New Haven. So far, it has sparked a week of angry protests from New Haven to Hamden.

Now, James Walker, the owner of the video is speaking out only to News 8’s Mario Boone about why he released it.

“I don’t think it was ethical,” Walker said. “I think it was unjust.”

One of Walker’s employees put it more bluntly.

“My initial thought was something is going to happen to this footage and truth isn’t going to come out,” said social worker Michael Marshall. “I think that was the motivation to get the initial footage out in case it was to be swept under the rug,” he said.

Related Content: Body camera footage from officer-involved shooting in New Haven authorized to be released this week

Walker runs Believe In Me Empowerment Corporation. His three-story building at Dixwell and Argyle is ringed by multiple surveillance cameras. Those cameras were rolling last Tuesday when officers from Yale University and Hamden opened fire on a car driven by Paul Witherspoon. His girlfriend, Stepanie Washington, was shot but survived.

“It’s just terrible. I don’t think it would’ve happened in certain communities. I don’t think it would’ve happened if it was a different race of people in the car,” Walker concluded.

A fixture in the Dixwell community for nearly 15 years, Walker’s small non-profit is dedicated to helping ex-offenders transition from prison.

Related Content: New Haven officer-involved shooting protests continue Easter Sunday, new video revealed

“We are fulfilling a void that’s needed in the community,” Walker told us. He says never intended to be thrust smack in the middle of national conversation about police violence. Yet, now that he is, “Maybe this will decrease the amount of violence by law enforcement in our community,” Walker explained.

Personnel records obtained Monday from New Haven police show one of the officers who fired, Hamden Officer Devin Eaton, had a clean disciplinary file during his 23 months on the job at NHPD. Hamden police refused to release Eaton’s file to us.

Eaton and Yale Officer Terrance Pollock have been placed on paid leave while state police investigate the shooting.

Web Extra: Officer-involved shooting protest enters 6th day

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