RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — The family of a naked man shot and killed by police relived the tragedy when they watched video from the officer’s body camera.
“I’m here to fulfill my promise to Marcus as we laid him to rest,” explained the young man’s sister Princess Blanding.
She and her uncle went to Richmond Police Headquarters Wednesday morning to learn more about the death of Marcus-David Peters.
“I came here because in order to continue to fight,” said Blanding, “I need to get as many pieces of the puzzle as I can and seeing exactly what took place is a huge part of it.”
On May 14th, police say Peters led officer Michael Nyantakyi on a pursuit after hitting three cars then crashing his own.
According to family attorney Jonathan Halperin, the officer’s body camera video shows Peters naked and making snow angels on Interstate 95.
He added the officer can be heard acknowledging that on the video.
Police said Peters charged the officer, who tried to stop the Henrico man with a Taser before shooting him twice.
“There’s no question that Marcus was having a mental health episode, so the officer recognized that,” says Halperin, “The issue is what should have been done from that moment of recognition forward.”
“Marcus did not deserve to be killed. Marcus deserved help,” adds his sister, “He clearly, very clearly was in distress, in major distress and he needed help, not death.”
Blanding says she wants justice and reformation for her brother.
She sees that coming from additional training for police officers along with giving them alternatives to deadly force when they recognize people are having a mental health crisis.
Peters’ death is still under investigation and the officer who pulled the trigger is on administrative leave.
Police are expected to make that body camera video public soon.