Aug 16, 2022 - News

Police body cam footage released after LoDo shooting that injured 6 bystanders

Video screenshot via Denver Police Department LoDo shooting July 17
Video screenshot via Denver Police Department

Body camera footage from a July 17 police shooting released on Tuesday depicts a chaotic scene as Denver officers opened fire on a man seen raising his hands before turning his back to draw his handgun and throwing it to the ground.

Why it matters: Dozens of people were standing in front of downtown Denver's Larimer Beer Hall seconds before the gunfire. At least two officers have said they believed they had a clear shot at the suspect without passersby behind him, Denver police Cmdr. Matt Clark said during a press conference last month.

State of play: Denver District Attorney Beth McCann on Tuesday announced her office will ask a grand jury to investigate the shooting, opening the possibility that the officers involved could face charges.

What's new: Body cam footage from July shows 21-year-old suspect Jordan Waddy first caught officers' attention when he and another man repeatedly punched a separate person on a sidewalk near 20th and Larimer streets in the Lower Downtown neighborhood.

  • Waddy then walks briskly in the opposite direction as several officers approach.
  • Once confronted, Waddy appears to raise his hands before turning his back to reach into his sweatshirt pocket, grab it by the barrel and drop it on the ground.
  • Multiple officers fire at Waddy — forcing him to fall.
  • Numerous bystanders are seen crouching mere feet from the suspect as he was shot.
Video screenshot via Denver Police Department

Details: Three uniformed officers shot at Waddy seven times, Clark said in a pre-recorded video released on Tuesday along with the footage.

  • Clark said one officer shot four rounds, another fired two, and a third fired a single round.
  • The officer who shot at Waddy once did so while a crowd was standing behind the suspect, but Clark said the officer told investigators he worked to get a clear line of sight before firing. Clark said the officer shot at Waddy after seeing the gun's muzzle pointing in the direction of other officers.
  • Clark said there was no evidence Waddy shot his handgun, which was loaded and recovered at the scene.

Yes, but: None of the officers involved in the July 17 shooting have been identified.

  • The city's public safety office said it would offer no additional comments.

Of note: Audio is missing during key moments in the body cam footage due to "a 30-second video buffer," according to DPD spokesperson Kurt Barnes, who explained: "Once the officer activates the camera ... the camera starts recording both audio and video."

Patrol officers involved in the shooting were monitoring crowds as bars closed in the area, Clark said in the pre-recorded video.

  • The body camera footage was released in accordance with state law, which mandates unedited video related to officer misconduct complaints be released 21 days after such an incident, per Denver's public safety office.

Context: The department has offered scant details about the shooting.

  • Waddy was injured but survived and now faces multiple charges.
  • Several witnesses say officers shot "randomly" into a packed street known for its nightlife.
  • Denver police said three officers are on modified duty, meaning a non-patrol assignment.

What they're saying: As previously reported, police have said that "in the moment, they were doing what they could to stop violence and ensure safety downtown," though they acknowledged "something could have been done differently."

avatar

Get more local stories in your inbox with Axios Denver.

🌱

Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more

More Denver stories

No stories could be found

Denverpostcard

Get a free daily digest of the most important news in your backyard with Axios Denver.

🌱

Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more