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New Video Casts Doubt on Police Account of Shooting of Black Man Left Paralyzed

Dashcam Video Shows Police Shooting That Left Man Paralyzed 0:45

The lawyer for a Texan who was paralyzed when he was shot by an off-duty Forth Worth police officer in July has released a dashboard camera video which appears to contradict portions of the initial account provided by authorities.

Despite what the Fort Worth Police Department has charged, David Collie in the video does not appear to be clearly pointing a box cutter at a deputy who was with the officer who fired the shots.

Instead, Collie appears to be pointing his right hand away from the officers.

"There's clearly no box cutter in the video," Collie's lawyer, Nate Washington, told NBC News on Thursday. "There's no box cutter in his hand, no box cutter on his person. At some point later they discovered a box cutter. The whole thing is suspicious."

Washington said he obtained the footage “from a different source, from a different law enforcement agency.”

Image: Dashcam video shows two Fort Worth, Texas officers shooting David Collie in the back at a distance of 34 feet, which paralyzes him.
Dashcam Video Shows Police Shooting That Left Man Paralyzed THU, DEC 29 Dashcam video shows two Fort Worth, Texas officers shooting David Collie in the back at a distance of 34 feet, which paralyzes him. NBC News

“We’ve tried multiple times to get information from the city of Fort Worth,” he said.

Shortly after Washington released the footage on Tuesday, the Fort Worth Police posted a Tweet in response the lawyer’s move:

“We saw what you saw. We heard what you heard. We have received your phone calls, your emails, your messages, your tweets, your reviews, your absolute concern over what occurred and your demand for answers and action. WE DO HEAR YOU.”

The police are still investigating the shooting.

Collie, 33, is not named in a July 28 press release issued by the Fort Worth Police. Neither is the police officer who fired the shots or the Tarrant County Sheriff’s Office deputy who was with him at the time.

Both were in uniforms but “working together in an off-duty capacity and driving a marked Fort Worth Police patrol car,” the release states.

The chain of events that ended with Collie wounded began, according to police, at 11:55 p.m. on July 27 when dispatchers got a 911 call about a robbery in a gas station parking. The victim described the robbers as “two shirtless black men” and that one of them displayed what looked like a “silver handgun.”

Responding to the broadcast, police say, the off-duty officers drove into an apartment complex not far from the station and, minutes later, encountered a shirtless Collie strolling on the grounds.

It is at this point the police press release and the video footage diverge.

“The officers observed a subject matching the description of one of the robbery suspects look in their direction and duck down behind a row of bushes near the entrance to the complex,” the press release states.

In the footage, Collie is seen walking and does not seem to be attempting to hide from the officer and the deputy.

“As the officers approached and exited the patrol car, the subject began walking away from them,” the release reads.

Collie, in the video, appears to stop briefly to look at the officers before he resumes walking.

The release states that the officers repeatedly gave Collie “verbal commands” to stop and show his hands but the "subject refused to comply."

There is no audio with the footage so it can’t be determined what, if anything, the officers said to Collie or what he replied.

"The subject then removed a silver object from his pocket and pointed it directly at the TCSO deputy," the release states. “The Fort Worth officer saw the silver object, believed the male was threatening the TCSO deputy with a firearm and fired two rounds at the subject striking him once in the lower torso.”

In the video, Collie is moving away from the lawmen and does extend his right arm — but in the direction he is going, not in the direction of the officers. It is not clear if he has anything in his hand. And when he is shot, he appears to fall forward.

The police press release states the Fort Worth officer “immediately began to treat the subject’s gunshot wound and bleeding.”

In the remaining 25 seconds of the footage, however, neither officer is seen tending to the wounded man.

When asked to respond to the seeming contradictions between what appeared in the press release and what appeared on the dashcam video, a police spokesman Thursday referred NBC News back to their “original press release.”

Collie, who is now paralyzed from the waist down, could not be reached for comment. He was charged with aggravated assault on a public servant but a Tarrant County grand jury declined to indict him, his lawyer said.

Washington said Collie told him he was scared when the officers approached him and didn’t know what to do. He said a box cutter was found 10 feet away from where Collie was shot.

“You see Mr. Collie, he’s not breathing hard, not trying to get away from the officers,” Washington told reporters earlier. “He was trying to comply with the officers … It was a crime to have him chained to a bed for 61 days.”

Washington said he knows the names and badge numbers of the officers involved in the shooting but is not releasing them to the public just yet.

"We don’t want to encourage people to harass or harm officers," he said.

Earlier, a police spokesman told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram they won’t release any more details about the incident “until the internal case in closed.”

The Fort Worth police got a lot of unwanted attention earlier this month when video of a white officer violently arresting three black women went viral.