Body camera footage reveals body-cam call about shooting of unarmed Muslim man

An Ohio police officer recounted the chaotic scene outside a mosque after a police chase in Dayton that claimed the life of an unarmed black man.

Travis McMichael is accused of shooting Omar Jamal, 37, during a standoff. The officer testified that McMichael told him he shot Jamal because the victim was about to shoot his family.

Officer Ahmaud Arbery said McMichael initially told him the shooting was unintentional and that he thought Jamal was reaching for a gun under his shirt, when he really had an object in his hand, but denied having a gun.

Video and audio was played for the jury Thursday in McMichael’s trial, during which McMichael repeated the story that Jamal reached for a gun. When Arbery asked if McMichael would have been charged had he shot and killed someone who was not armed, he said McMichael said, “I just f–king killed somebody!”

It was the first time McMichael, 36, had been on trial. He was charged with murder and felonious assault, and initially faced charges that carry a sentence of 25 years to life.

Ex-girlfriend testifies

Earlier Thursday, Amber Ruiz, McMichael’s ex-girlfriend, took the stand. She testified that they had been together in 2007 and 2008, and that McMichael sent her several threatening text messages. She said McMichael called her on May 11 and said that if she tried to contact her family he would shoot her.

She said he told her he was in town visiting relatives and that he bought a handgun while he was at a store. He said he thought Jamal had a gun and that she would not obey his commands.

Ruiz said she did not believe McMichael was going to take action, but “thought he was making up stories” for what to do with the gun.

“I knew it was a big story to pull off,” she testified. “I was obviously asking him if he was going to shoot or not.”

Ruiz said McMichael did not open fire on Jamal until his cousin came outside to help during the tense standoff on May 12.

Jamal’s family disputes McMichael’s claim that he shot him during a struggle over a gun. The Montgomery County coroner’s office previously ruled the shooting a homicide.

CNN has been unable to reach Jamal’s family or anyone involved in the case.

The evidence and eyewitness testimony shown in court points to McMichael as the main player in the situation. McMichael originally said he was driving to his girlfriend’s house to bring her her puppies, but the night of the shooting ended with a different scenario.

Bystander footage

The events unfolded on May 12 when McMichael sped down several streets in the Dayton suburb of Kettering after what police initially described as a domestic dispute. The high-speed chase of McMichael ended when he was stopped on the side of the road by a man who went to help.

McMichael initially told police that he was trying to save the man’s life, but the man was shot by a police officer a short time later.

According to testimony, the man went to McMichael’s vehicle to see if he was OK. During a brief altercation, the witness told police that McMichael fired several shots at him.

The body cam footage plays, showing McMichael suddenly sprint up to the man and holding the gun in his hand, directly in front of him. A crowd of people is watching and saying things like, “Oh my God!”

The officer ordered McMichael to put the gun down, but McMichael tells the witness: “They gonna kill me, shoot me!” and “I’m going to die.”

Other videos from the night contain moments that appear to capture the moment McMichael shot Jamal.

Officers arrived shortly after McMichael and the witness to arrest McMichael and take him away.

The case was put on hold while the prosecution reviewed homicide reports from the coroner.

McMichael faces up to 18 years to life in prison if he is convicted of murder and nonfelony assault.

Dayton’s police chief recently released a statement saying, “no decisions on the many aspects of the incident during the two-and-a-half-hour pursuit, standoff, or the contact with the subject have been made.”


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