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Family moves to have bodycam footage of fatal stabbing removed

Posted at 11:11 PM, Sep 04, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-04 23:11:58-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTX) — People closely involved in one of the officer-involved-shootings cases are speaking out about the release of the videos.

A 21 person grand jury decided today that the Tallahassee Police Officers responsible for three deadly shootings were justified in their actions.

"We respect the grand jury's findings," said Mutaqee Akbar, the McDade family's lawyer. "We respect the work put in to get to those findings, understand that it's within policies, within the law to making an indictment criminally. We understand where the findings are."

That grand jury was tasked with reviewing evidence in the shooting deaths of Mychael Johnson, Wilbon Woodard, and Tony McDade.

Akbar says this is a step towards closure.

"[His mother] can grieve NaTosha, Tony," Akbar said. "She can move forward with her life now that this is over with."

Along with those findings, the city also released body camera footage, initially involving all three but later only showing the Johnson and Woodard cases.

It was what was included in the McDade video that sent one family into shock.

"May 27th, I didn't actually see Malik," said Abigail Jackson, whose nephew, Malik was stabbed to death that day. "But to watch him on that video. Today is just like May 27th, except it might be a little bit worse because we actually saw Malik."

According to the reports, Tony McDade fatally stabbed Malik moments before a standoff with a Tallahassee Police officer.

Jackson says she was never warned that the video of her nephew's last breath would end up in the mix.

Instead, she found out through Facebook.

They're calling for TPD to take the video down.

"I'm actually talking with my attorneys," Jackson said. "I was not warned. My sister, she was not warned that Malik would actually be in this video. We just thought that it was the police-involved shooting."

Marsy's Law protects the officer involved in that case, the same law now the basis behind the family's legal claims.

When asked if the video was removed because of the inclusion of Malik's death the City said it wasn't.

"My thing is, my family has respected everybody through the whole process," said Jackson. "My family hasn't been respected. Malik hasn't been respected. We haven't heard from anybody in the City of Tallahassee. We're owed due respect. The officer's face was covered up. Malik's body shouldn't have been on that video."

Akbar says there should still be reviews of police policy and dealing with mental illness.

The Jackson family says their next fight is having the video taken down.