‘Get out of the car!’: A Kent police officer’s commands are followed by the sounds of crunching metal and gunshots in a video released Thursday that depicts part of the incident that led to the fatal shooting of a 20-year-old man early Saturday.
Though the flashing lights from patrol cars make it difficult to see what exactly happened early Saturday on a Kent cul-de-sac, the audio from a video released Thursday by the Des Moines Police Department includes the sounds of sirens, an officer yelling commands, crunching metal, two gunshots and an accelerating car engine.
Des Moines police, who are investigating the shooting death of Giovonn Joseph-McDade by a veteran Kent police officer, provided new details Thursday about the fatal confrontation after a high-speed pursuit; the department also released the black-and-white video officers obtained from a private residence, according to Des Moines Assistant Police Chief Bob Bohl.
Earlier in the week, Bohl’s department released a recording of the police-radio transmission, which police say indicated Joseph-McDade, 20, failed to pull over for a traffic stop in the 25400 block of 104th Avenue Southeast around 12:15 a.m. Saturday, then led police on a mile-long pursuit that hit speeds of at least 60 mph and lasted less than two minutes.
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Early on in the pursuit, a second officer joined the chase and attempted a pursuit-intervention technique, or PIT, which entails bumping the rear fender to force the vehicle into a spin.
A second PIT performed in a residential cul-de-sac, at 99th Avenue South and South 244th Street, succeeded in briefly stopping the vehicle, according to Bohl and the private video:
“Because of the flashing lights, it somewhat distorts it, but you see the PIT,” Bohl said. “Right of the flashing lights, you see the suspect vehicle backing up and can hear the engine revving.”
A 42-year-old officer got out of his patrol car in an attempt to approach the vehicle, according to Bohl.
The voice of a male officer — presumably the 42-year-old, who isn’t captured in the video frame — can then be heard on the video yelling, “Get out of the car! Get out of the car!”
His yells are followed by the sounds of crunching metal, which according to Bohl, were the sounds of the suspect’s vehicle colliding with the patrol cars and driving toward the officer.
Two gunshots are heard, and the suspect’s vehicle is seen and heard accelerating from the cul-de-sac at high speed, exiting the frame, the video shows.
After failing to make a curve, the suspect’s vehicle struck a curb and came to a stop in Canterbury Park, Bohl said.
Officers summoned medics and immediately began administering first-aid, but Joseph-McDade died at the scene, according to Bohl and the police-radio transmission. He was struck by both shots fired by the officer, Bohl said.
A 19-year-old passenger in Joseph-McDade’s car was arrested on an unrelated warrant but has since been released from jail, according to Bohl and jail records. The passenger, who was not hurt, provided a statement about the shooting to police, he said.
Police found close to 5 grams of methamphetamine in Joseph-McDade’s wallet; when officers searched his vehicle, they found nearly 70 grams of marijuana and a “suspicious liquid” that has since been sent to the State Patrol Crime Lab for testing, according to Bohl.
Though only one officer fired his weapon, both he and a second officer involved in the pursuit were placed on paid administrative leave while the incident is investigated, which is standard.
According to Des Moines police:
The 42-year-old who fired his weapon has been a Kent police officer for nearly six years and is a field-training officer, which means he helps train rookie patrol officers; the officer also has 10 years experience with an out-of-state police department.
The second officer is 26 and has been a Kent patrol officer for nearly 2 ½ years.
Their names have not been released.
Both officers have provided written statements to investigators and will be subject to follow-up interviews, Bohl said. Bohl said he does not know the officers’ races or the race of Joseph-McDade.
Tim Ford, the Seattle attorney representing Joseph-McDade’s family, could not immediately be reached for comment Thursday. Ford is now in a federal civil-rights trial, representing the family of a Fife man killed by police in 2013.