HENRICO COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — Henrico County Police invited community leaders and civic organizations to watch the body camera footage of an officer-involved shooting that left one woman dead last week.
8News was permitted to watch the footage last Friday but was not allowed to record it.
Days later, many locals leaders and advocates were also permitted to view the recording and some say the footage is devastating.
On Sept. 17, two Henrico police officers responded to the 2900 block of Huntwick Court, off Pump Road, around 10:30 a.m. for a welfare check. While checking the home, the officers were confronted by a woman “wielding and swinging an ax,” and were forced to deadly force, according to Henrico police.
The woman who was shot was 57-year-old Gay Ellen Plack.
Henrico Police say they want to be transparent about what happened in Gay Plack’s home. It’s why they showed the body camera footage to civic organizations and community leaders Wednesday.
Dr. Ray Roberts, pastor of River Road Presbyterian Church viewed the footage and said, “the officers involved were clearly very shaken by the experience and the encounter.”
He adds that he feels bad for everyone involved.
“Right after they shot her, they were clearly upset and unhappy they felt forced to do that,” Dr. Roberts said.
Representatives from the American Civil Liberties Union of Virginia viewed the nearly 10-minute long, unedited version of the video Wednesday. The organization reinforced its demands for the video to be released and for the officers involved to be named.
They also want an independent investigation.
Henrico County’s NAACP Chapter also watched the video and released a statement Wednesday that asked the community “to withhold any judgment until the investigation has been completed.” The statement read “the family should be included in the decision for having the video released to the public. ”
Plack’s brother Bob, tells 8News that he’s not eager to see the video released for public.
Despite pleas to Henrico Police from community leaders, officers say they will not release the video to the public out of respect to Ms. Plack and her family.
Henrico Chief of Police H. I. Cardounel Jr. remains confident in his officer’s actions. Still, Henrico’s Commonwealth’s Attorney has called on two commonwealth’s attorneys in the state of Virginia to review the case.