WINSTON-SALEM, NC (AP) – A sheriff’s deputy on leave had a frantic conversation with a 911 operator after he shot a black man last weekend in North Carolina, claiming the pedestrian had “jumped on my vehicle and broke my windshield “. according to an audio recording released on Tuesday.
Deputy Jeffrey Hash can then be heard getting more agitated as he speaks with someone he said was a trauma nurse who responded to the scene and told the operator that “there are tons of cars. and people coming together “.
Fayetteville Police said Monday that a preliminary investigation determined Jason Walker, 37, “collided with traffic and jumped into a moving vehicle” on Saturday. Hash, an MP for Cumberland County, shot Walker and then called 911, police said. Walker was pronounced dead at the scene.
Protesters staged protests on Sunday and Monday. They dispute the account of the events of the police department.
A press release issued on Monday said Fayetteville Police Chief Gina Hawkins and the Cumberland County District Attorney had asked the NC State Bureau of Investigation to investigate the shooting. The FBI office in Charlotte said it was aware of the investigation and was in regular contact with local and state authorities.
“If, during the course of the North Carolina SBI’s investigation, information reveals a potential violation by the federal government, the FBI is ready to investigate,” the statement said.
Hash has been placed on administrative leave pending an internal investigation. He has worked in the sheriff’s office since 2005.
Parrish Daughtry, the attorney representing Hash, was unable to discuss the details of the case, but said on Tuesday his client was upset by the shooting.
“Lt. Hash is devastated for Mr. Walker’s family, his own family, the great community and devastated by these events,” Daughtry said. “Beyond that, I am truly prohibited from discussing the facts.
Ben Crump, the civil rights attorney who represented George Floyd’s family and has been retained by the Walker family, released a statement Tuesday.
“We have reason to believe this was a ‘shoot first, ask later’ case, a philosophy too often observed in law enforcement,” Crump said. “We are looking to the North Carolina SBI for a swift and transparent investigation so that we can obtain justice for Jason and his loved ones.”
Hash’s 911 call, which lasted about four minutes, was answered at 2:18 p.m. on January 8. He told the operator his location on the southwest side of Fayetteville and explained to her what had happened.
“I just blew up a man on my vehicle and broke my windshield. I just shot him, ”said Hash, who never gave the operator his name when checking in and only identified himself as a lieutenant in the sheriff’s office.
The operator asked Hash if he was next to the victim and said he was. When the operator asked if Walker was breathing, Hash replied, “He’s gone, ma’am. No ma’am, he’s not breathing. He left.”
During the call, Hash turned his attention away from the operator of 911 after asking what type of vehicle the victim was in. He shouted to someone at the scene, “I’m the deputy sheriff. He jumped on my vehicle and I just had to shoot him.
Hash told the operator he was driving his Ford F-150 when the victim “ran through Bingham Drive, and I pulled over to keep from hitting him and he jumped on my car and started to walk. yell”.
According to Hash, Walker removed the wipers and started hitting the windshield, breaking it. The deputy said his wife and daughter were in the truck with him. The operator then asked Hash if Walker had any weapons on him and he replied, “I don’t know.” He repeated that the victim had removed the windshield wipers from the truck.
When asked if he knew where Walker was shot, he said he saw blood on the man’s side, then asked the trauma nurse if she saw any injuries. His response was inaudible. Someone else asked Hash where he shot Walker and he said categorically, “I don’t know.”
“Where’s the point of entry?” Two voices were heard asking Hash, to which he replied, “I don’t know,” reiterating that Walker jumped into his car.
The operator then told Hash not to engage with those approaching, and replied that the crowd gathered around him “is really hostile right now.” Again, the operator told Hash not to engage with the crowd. With sirens blaring in the background, police arrived at the scene and Hash ended the conversation with the operator.
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