ARLINGTON (CBSDFW) – There is a call tonight for Arlington police to release dash cam video of an officer involved shooting. The footage shows what happened as an officer was run over during a traffic stop and the driver was shot and killed.
Sources at the department say there is video that proves their officers were in the right, but they can’t release it yet. And now, through an attorney, witnesses from inside the car say they saw things differently than the police described.
“To the extent that it was a necessary killing they are willing to accept that, they just want to be able to arrive at the truth,” said attorney Lee Merritt.
There are now two versions of what happened during the shooting that left Tavis Crane dead and sent 14-year police veteran Elise Bowden to the hospital with multiple broken bones. Police say Crane refused to exit the car and Officer Craig Roper entered the back door of the vehicle as Crane began to speed away.
“That’s when the vehicle got put into reverse,” said Lt. Chris Cook, Arlington Police Department spokesman who has seen the video. “It knocked her down to the ground, ran over her with the rear axle. And then the driver put it in drive and ran her over again. Now you’re in a situation where you’ve got an officer in the car while this is unfolding.”
And police say that’s when Roper shot Crane.
In the car with Crane were his best friend, wife and 2-year old daughter. The adults saw the sequence of events differently.
“(The) Officer climbed into the car as Mr. Crane began to reach for the keys to shut off the engine, officers fired and then the car began to move,” Merritt said.
Police say dash camera footage clearly shows the car going in reverse and then forward running Bowden over twice. Sources within the department say there is a strong desire to release the footage, but department and district attorney policy is not to release video during an open investigation.
“I think the dash cam footage would clear it all up,” Merritt said. “So and so we’re there are very versions of the events, dash cam or body cam footage would resolve it.”
The police department says it has put out bids for acquiring body cameras but, as of yet, none of their officers have been supplied with them yet.
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