Jason Walker’s father told police his son had jumped on the hood of a North Carolina off-duty cop’s car and ripped a windshield wiper off to hit the vehicle before the officer shot him dead last week.
In newly released bodycam footage of officers responding to the aftermath of the incident, Anthony Walker was pacing back and forth as he recounted the events that led to his son’s death at the hands of Cumberland County Sheriff´s Office Lt. Jeffrey Hash, 38, on January 8.
‘I saw it. I saw it,’ Anthony told police. ‘He jumped up on the hood. He jumped on his car and he [Hash] shot him.’
‘[Jason] came out the yard and I was trying to get him to come back over here and I called him, I said, ‘Come back, Jason,” Anthony added.
‘He was out here in the daggone street when that fella drove up and he jumped up on the guy’s hood, the guy jumped out and just started shooting.’
The case, which involves a white officer shooting a black man, has sparked days of protests and calls for Hash – who was placed on administrative leave – to be arrested.
The Walkers’ family lawyer Ben Crump, who also represents the family of George Floyd, branded the incident a ‘case of a shoot first, ask later philosophy’.
Anthony Walker (right), Jason Walker’s father, said the 37-year-old ran out of their yard and into the street, jumping on the hood of Cumberland County Sheriff´s Office Lt. Jeffrey Hash’s SUV. He said his son ripped off one of the windshield wipers to hit the car
First responders arrived at the scene where Hash shot and killed Walker, saying he feared for his safety and the safety of his wife and daughter, who were in the car with him
Jason Walker (left) was shot and killed by off-duty officer Jeffery Hash (right)
One of the witnesses (right) backed Anthony Walker’s claim about his son jumping on the hood of the car while the other (left) said Walker was already on the ground when Hash shot him
Anthony then walked up to Hash’s SUV to explain to police exactly where Walker, 37, was when he jumped on the car.
‘He pulled off one of the daggone windshield wipers and hit the windshield,’ Anthony said.
Fayetteville Police Chief Gina Hawkins had filed the petition with the court earlier this week to release the bodycam footage with the statements made by Anthony and two other witnesses.
One of them, a woman who helped render aid to Walker, said that he didn’t appear to pose a threat, but that she didn’t see what happened before Walker was on the ground.
‘He didn’t have anything on him,’ she said of Walker. ‘I don’t understand what happened. The guy just started shooting him.’
When the officer collecting her testimony asked if Walker was already on the ground when Hash shot him, the woman said he was.’
In one clip, the off-duty deputy can be heard saying that he stopped his car when he saw Walker run across the street. He added that he had his daughter in the car.
As police continue to investigate the incident, many of the facts have yet to come out due to contradictory witness testimony.
Walker’s father Anthony Walker becomes emotional at a rally held in Fayetteville on Thursday
Janice Walker, mother of Jason Walker, (2nd L) wipes away tears during rally on January 13, 2022, in Fayetteville, North Carolina
Elizabeth Ricks, center, cries as she recounts rendering aid to Jason Walker during a demonstration in front of the Fayetteville Police Department, Sunday. Ricks claims that Hash rammed Walker with his truck and then shot him in cold blood
While one witness – another deputy – backs up Hash’s claim the Walker jumped onto his car, another claims she saw the off-duty cop hit him with his truck.
Hawkins also told WFNC radio on Wednesday: ‘We have one other witness — outside of the deputy — that confirms what he [Hash] said.’
It comes after nurse Elizabeth Ashley Ricks – who attended to Walker at the scene – said she saw the whole incident unfold and that Hash struck Walker with his vehicle.
She told ABC11 that she was driving behind Hash with her fiancé Chase Sorrell.
‘And then as we were approaching, I saw him hit Jason,’ she said.
‘And from what I saw from behind, at first when that part happened, was he hit him, and Jason hit forward, and then slammed — his body was slammed onto the windshield.’
She then said she thought Hash fired a shot through his windshield before getting out of the truck and shooting Walker again.
But Hawkins casted doubt on her claims during a news conference on Sunday, saying no shots were fired through the windshield and that it had been damaged by Walker hitting it with one of the windshield wipers.
Hash’s truck’s ‘black box’ is also considered key in the case.
Hawkins revealed on Sunday that it did indeed record an impact, but experts believe hitting a person would not be strong enough to trigger the device’s impact sensors, reported the Fayetteville Observer.
Attorney Ben Crump (L), alongside the family of Jason Walker, including his brother, mother Janice Walker (C), and father, Anthony Walker (R)
Demonstrators cry during a ‘Justice for Jason Walker’ demonstration in front of the Fayetteville Police Department, Sunday, January 9, 2022, in Fayetteville, N.C. Walker, 37, was shot and killed on Saturday by an off-duty deputy
Pandora Harrington and other demonstrators march from the Cumberland County Law Enforcement Center to the Fayetteville Police Department and back during a ‘Justice for Jason Walker’ demonstration, Sunday
At a rally at the Good Hope Missionary Baptist Church on Thursday night, Crump said the shooting was ‘unacceptable’, while Walker’s father said: ‘I can’t hardly talk about him’, and other family members appeared too emotional to speak.
Fayetteville police said Monday that a preliminary investigation determined that Walker ‘ran into traffic and jumped on a moving vehicle.’ Hash shot Walker and then called 911, police said. Walker was pronounced dead at the scene.
Crump branded the shooting ‘unacceptable’ as he told a rally at a Fayetteville church on Thursday night how Walker was the single father of a 14-year-old son.
He said: ‘There are a lot of reasons why black children have to grow up without their fathers.
‘But this reason is unacceptable. This is unacceptable that we have to tell that young boy that his father was shot unnecessarily, unjustifiably and unconstitutionally by somebody who was supposed to protect and serve him.’
He added: ‘We’re not asking for anything extraordinary.
‘All we’re asking for is the truth. It is not lost on me that when Jason Walker was shot multiple times, he was close to home.’
Source: Daily Mail