Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police video showing officers fatal shooting an armed teenage suspect in a June 2016 confrontation was released under a judge’s order, the first test of a new state law. Body and dashboard camera video showing police fatal shooting an armed teenage suspect in a June 2016 confrontation near University City was released Thursday under the first test of a new state law for making public such material. Footage matched the narrative given by authorities after the shooting: That Rodney Rodriguez Smith, after wounding a rival aboard a CATS bus, fired at responding officers while fleeing from them, and they fired multiple shots in return. From different vantage points, the six videos showed the search for a man who’d fired aboard the bus.
From his body camera, Officer Garret Tryon can be seen searching in the dark for a suspect, then pulling in and calling out seven times, “Drop the gun!” A fusilade of shots follow, then Tryon orders the man four more times to drop the gun. Then came four more shots. Tryon tells another officer at the scene, “He shot at me.” Release of the video reflected the policy declared by CMPD Chief Kerr Putney in September toward more transparency in conflicts between police and the public. It also represented a legal milestone in the public’s right to gain access to police video because it was the first time a court approved a petition under North Carolina’s new law requiring judicial approval to release police dashcam and body camera video