Relatives and activists call for police to release video of teen’s fatal shooting

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (AP) — Relatives of a 17-year-old boy killed by Chattanooga police are calling for unedited bodycam and dashboard footage to be released, according to a published report.

The family of David Mendez Lopez said in a statement released by Concerned Citizens for Justice and Semillas TN that the teen was holding a cell phone, not a gun, when he was fatally shot Sept. 3, the Chattanooga Times Free Press reported.

They have also asked for video footage from a police robot as well as Lopez’s autopsy report, audio of the 911 call, police affidavits and the names of superior officers who coordinated the police response. The newspaper said it has submitted similar requests.

Lopez was killed by officers responding to a domestic dispute at his family’s house. His family was taken out of the home, and a SWAT team was called to negotiate with Lopez, according to a statement from the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.

Chattanooga police said Lopez was armed, pointed a gun at officers twice during the encounter and was not obeying commands. Officers shot him when he emerged from a back door, believing he was showing a gun, according to a statement from the department.

Lopez’s father had called police because he thought his son was having a mental health crisis after a fight between the teen and his girlfriend, the family’s statement said. The family said a mental health counselor or behavioral specialist should have been called to mitigate the situation.

Four officers were placed on routine administrative leave for their involvement in Lopez’s shooting, the Chattanooga Police Department said in a statement.

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