DENTON, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – The parents of a man shot and killed by police in Denton, disagree with the department over what body camera video reveals about the shooting.
Kevin Tarver said Friday he sees his son standing at the stairwell at his apartment, not being aggressive, and not moving toward officers, until they deployed a taser.
“They initially aggravated his actions,” Tarver said. “I don’t know how y’all would act if you was tased with 5,000 or 10,000 volts, but I don’t think you would stand still.”
Tarver’s comments came a day after Denton Police Chief Frank Dixon released four videos of the January shooting, and strongly defended officer’s actions.
Dixon suggested the 23-year-old’s demeanor suggested he was under the influence of a drug like PCP, and that officers needed to subdue him to check on the well-being of other residents at the apartment building.
Tarver’s parents, along with civil rights attorney Lee Merritt, said they believe their son may have been having a mental health crisis, but that either scenario should not make a difference in the way officer’s approached the situation.
“The only deadly weapon he had, they had already gotten a hold of and removed from him,” said Merritt, referencing a large knife that police kicked away from Tarver after a taser brought him to the ground. “He knew he was armed with at best a flimsy frying pan.”
The video shows Tarver was on the ground for about 25-seconds, before getting up and retrieving that pan, and then being shot and killed by police. His family saw that as another chance officers had to safely control the situation.
Merritt said he now plans to ask for another meeting with the Denton County District Attorney, because of concerns only the police perspective of the shooting will be presented to a grand jury.