DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Police are refusing to release body camera video of three Des Moines officers fatally shooting a 16-year-old boy during a domestic disturbance last month because of state law preventing footage that shows a minor committing a “delinquent act.”
The Des Moines Register reports that the police department was preparing to release the video from all four officers that were involved in the Dec. 26 confrontation before the city’s legal department intervened. The state Attorney General’s office already ruled that the officers were legally justified in the shooting because the boy raised a gun at them several times.
The boy’s name has not been released.
Des Moines Police spokesperson Sgt. Paul Parizek said the city lawyers told police that the video’s couldn’t be released under state law. Parizek said the law states that police can’t release records or video about a juvenile allegedly committing a crime before a complaint is filed. He said the law still applies in this case even though the boy was killed and won’t be charged.
The Register said it will continue to pursue the release of the videos in court.
All three officers who opened fire on the boy — Noah Bollinger, Zachary Duitscher and Thomas Garcie — remain on administrative leave while the department reviews the shooting.
Police have said that the officers tried to de-escalate the situation as they negotiated with the boy for 4 minutes, 20 seconds. The officers and family members who were also at the apartment near the Blank Park Zoo urged the boy to put down the gun and surrender more than 70 times, but he didn’t comply.
A report on the shooting said the boy told the officers that his older brother had just died and “I want to be with my brother.” The boy’s brother had been fatally shot in the Phoenix suburb of Glendale on Nov. 5.
When the boy raised his gun toward the officers, three of them shot him 14 times in the abdomen, chest and head.