OGDEN — Ogden’s chapter of the NAACP is calling for a “full and impartial” review surrounding the Harrisville police shooting that left a local man with multiple gunshot wounds.
The local civil rights organization said in a statement Friday that they have “more questions and serious concerns” after viewing body camera footage released Thursday by the Weber County Attorney’s Office.
The NAACP indicated they were concerned with how the incident was handled and the officers’ use of force.
“We’re saddened and deeply concerned by this incident and have spoken with the Harrisville Police Chief (Maxwell Jackson) and Weber County Attorney (Christopher Allred) to share our concerns and gain a better understanding of the investigatory process and timeline,” said Betty Sawyer, Ogden NAACP President, in the statement.
The video of the March 23 confrontation between Jamal Bell and the three officers who responded to a call at his Harrisville apartment was released to media organizations Thursday afternoon.
The body camera footage from one of the three officers shows Bell — critically injured by police in the incident — walking toward the officers from inside his apartment after they arrive on the scene, something in each hand. Then he retreats back into his apartment, and the officers slowly follow, but remain just outside the front entrance of the unit.
“Drop the knife now,” officers repeatedly shout.
“Take another step forward, I will shoot you,” another shouts.
Bell, facing the officers from inside his apartment with his arms outstretched, doesn’t say anything in response and doesn’t appear to drop the items in his hand, which police said were knives.
Then he again walks toward the officers, slowly. Amid much shouting, the officers fire repeatedly from outside the apartment through the open front door and Bell, inside the apartment, falls to the ground.
As of Thursday, Bell remained hospitalized in Ogden, recovering from the injuries.
The local NAACP chapter indicated in the release they have been in contact with Bell’s parents. “First and foremost we’re concerned about the health and wellbeing of their son as well as the officers that pulled the trigger,” the release said.
The NAACP said that with this incident, like other police shootings, tensions rise.
“We encourage everyone again to be mindful of the personal and community impact of this type of incident and the need for fairness and transparency, as we move forward to find answers,” the release read.