The Canton Police Department released body camera footage that captured an Ohio police officer and shot and killed a Black man just minutes after the new year rang in.
According to Marquetta Williams, who spoke to the Canton Repository, the incident occurred at their 10th Street SW home when her husband James Williams fired celebratory gunshots with his AR-15 skyward into the air in their backyard behind a 6-foot wooden privacy fence.
Williams said this was a tradition for those in the community. However, neither she nor her husband was aware police were on the other side of their fence at the time. “Out of the blue, he said he got shot, he got hit,” she explained. “I don’t know where it came from. Nobody said anything. They didn’t say, ‘Police.’ They didn’t say, ‘Freeze.’ They didn’t say, ‘Drop your weapon.’”
The wife continued, “They just shot him. I could see the blood splattering across his shirt. He collapsed in the living room.” The 46-year-old father was taken to Aultman Hospital, where he later died.
Body camera footage showed an unidentified officer drawing his weapon and walking towards the tall fence. Without ever identifying himself nor speaking to the victim, the cop blindly fires at least four times through the wall.
Soon after, the video shows another officer taking cover behind a cruiser and yelling, “Show me your [expletive] hands.” Williams then stepped onto the home’s front porch. The firing officer then yelled, “Everyone on the ground. Out here, on the sidewalk, on the ground.”
Canton Police said they were in the neighborhood investigating a shots-fired incident.
The unidentified officer has been placed on administrative leave pending the ongoing investigation.