DENVER — Denver District Attorney Beth McCann will ask a grand jury to open an investigation and review a shooting involving Denver Police Department officers in the Lower Downtown area last month, leaving six bystanders injured.
DPD says officers saw Jordan Waddy, 21, shoving and punching another person in the early morning hours of July 17 outside Larimer Beer Hall. Waddy was the “aggressor” in the attack, hit the other man and had a gun, police said.
Body camera video released by the city on Tuesday shows officers walking along Larimer Street. Police say they tried to stop Waddy. The footage shows Waddy walk onto Larimer Street. He takes his hands out of his pockets and puts them in the air as he walks back onto the sidewalk. Waddy walks toward the crowd gathered outside Larimer Beer Hall and away from officers.
DPD said Waddy then pointed a gun at two officers, who each fired at him. One officer fired four rounds and the other fired twice, DPD said.
Waddy’s attorney says the body camera video tells a different story.
“He is disarming so he doesn’t have a weapon on him,” said Tyrone Glover, Waddy’s civil attorney. “He is throwing it down so he’s not pointing it at anybody.”
It happened in split seconds. Waddy looks like he’s trying to pull something out of his pocket.
Glover said the body camera video shows his client surrendering. He said Waddy throws a gun down and puts his hands up before officers shoot.
“I think they exhibited extreme indifference for not only Mr. Waddy’s life but all of those people coming out of Larimer Beer Hall,” Glover said.
Three officers fired seven times. Six bystanders were injured – and DPD admitted for the first time on Tuesday they were responsible for that.
Attorney Crist Whitney is representing three of those bystanders. He said one just had surgery to remove an officer’s bullet.
“I could have been there. Any one of my friends. Any one of my family. And it is incredibly reckless. Officers should know better,” Glover said.
Glover also said DPD continued shooting at Waddy as he turned to run away from being shot.
“It’s a miracle he’s not dead,” Glover said.
Another angle shows an officer pointing his gun toward the crowd on the sidewalk outside Larimer Beer Hall. DPD says that officer fired once.
Waddy’s attorney said he plans to sue. They’re deciding whether to do that before or after the grand jury decision. Waddy faces a charge for illegally possessing a gun as a felon.
“The public’s interest in this particular shooting incident is understandably high,” McCann said. “For the community to trust in the outcome from this incident, it is important that independent members of the community review the facts, evidence and law regarding whether these officers should be criminally charged.”
The Denver District Attorney’s Office said it would not have any further comment until the grand jury investigation is complete.
DPD said the injuries to bystanders ranged from superficial cuts, to possible graze wounds, to serious arm, shoulder and leg injuries.
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