The D.C. police department will release body camera footage of the 2018 police killing of 22-year-old Marqueese Alston and two other incidents in which officers were involved in men’s deaths.
Alston died after he was shot by officers after police say he fired at them. Jeffrey Price was riding a dirt bike when he crashed into a police car in 2018, police say. D’Quan Young was shot by an off-duty officer in 2018 after he approached the officer with a gun at a party, police say.
Mayor Muriel Bowser and Metropolitan Police Department Chief of Police Peter Newsham said Friday that they will release the footage after the D.C. Council recently passed police reform legislation.
As of midday Friday, the department had published “community briefing videos” that showed clips of the footage but not the entire videos. Those videos, published on the department’s website, are graphic. The release of “full video redacted” is forthcoming, the site says.
Alston’s mother, Kenithia Alston, slammed the release of the community briefing videos, calling them “slick social media videos.”
“This is just another PR stunt,” she said in a statement via her lawyers. “I’ve been asking for the full and raw footage for the past two years so I could understand the truth about what happened to my son. Instead, I’ve been forced to see the moments of my son’s death for a second time with many, many unanswered questions.”
The mayor called the footage painful to watch and warned that body camera footage only offers one glimpse of a chaotic scene.
“People think it’s going to tell the whole story but it doesn’t,” she said.
The families of four other victims asked police not to release footage publicly, the mayor said.
Alston’s mother filed a $100 million wrongful death lawsuit against the Metropolitan Police Department last month. Alston lived in Temple Hills, Maryland, and was killed in Southeast D.C.
People at Black Lives Matter rallies across the United States have shouted “Marqueese Alston!” for years in response to the prompt “Say his name,” to honor the victims of police shootings. His mother joined a march last month and hoisted a poster-sized photograph of her son.
Newsham has said officers fired at Alston on June 12, 2018 after he ran from officers and fired at them using an illegal handgun.
“He was armed, he was a felon, he was under supervision and he fired at police officers,” Newsham said at the time.
Witnesses said they never saw Alston with a gun or heard crossfire.
Three uniformed patrol officers turned onto an alley near 1st Street and Wayne Place SE at about 7:10 p.m. on June 12, 2018 and came across a group of men, the police chief said.
The men ran when they spotted the officers, police said in a statement. Officers pursued them. During the chase, Alston pulled out a gun, police said. An officer fired and struck him, police said.
Alston was pronounced dead at the scene, police said. No one else was hurt.
Attorneys with the Georgetown Law’s Civil Rights Clinic say Alston was shot between 12 and 18 times.
Alston’s mother said police did not contact her right away to tell her her son was dead. She heard the news from a friend and from news reports.
Last month, she challenged police to release the body camera footage.
“We got Black Lives spray-painted across Lafayette Square. Do Black lives really matter? If your accounts are true about what you said my son did – release the body-cam,” she said in a statement.
Stay with NBC Washington for more details on this developing story.