NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) - A Norfolk City Councilman and attorney Andy Protgyrou is asking for the release of video detailing the shooting death of a Joshua "Omar" Johnson by police in May.
The Norfolk Commonwealth's Attorney announced Sept. 6 that the deadly force used in the officer-involved shooting of Johnson was justified. His family, however, remains critical of the officer's actions during the incident and made it known days after the announcement they would appeal the decision.
Community activist and family spokesman Michael Muhammad told WAVY.com about the family's plans a little more than a week ago.
"Omar should not be dead. He should be standing trial for his actions, given an opportunity to correct them," Muhammad said. "What we're prepared to do is to make an appeal to the judges at the Norfolk Circuit Court, to impanel a special grand jury."
Johnson was shot and killed by Norfolk Police Officer M. Watson in what the Commonwealth's Attorney calls an act of protection of his partner, Norfolk Police Officer M. Williams.
The officers were called to the Wells Fargo bank on Colonial Avenue in Ghent May 20 when a bank teller reported Johnson and his girlfriend trying to cash a bad check. When the officers approached Johnson's vehicle in the bank's drive thru lane, police say Johnson used his vehicle as a weapon against Officer Williams. That's when Officer Watson shot eleven rounds into the vehicle, killing Johnson at the scene.
Now, Protgyrou and Muhammad want video released from the time of the shooting from police dash cameras, cell phone cameras and surveillance cameras from the bank and nearby businesses.
"If you're not prosecuting, then go ahead [and release the video] and the information that's there pursuant to the law. [It] should be released through the Freedom of Information Act," Muhammad told WAVY.com. "If I had video, that would clear me and that would put all rumor and innuendo to bed. I would definitely rush that out to the media. There's no reason to hold it."
Johnson's girlfriend, Virgie Hairston, was arrested and charged after the shooting. On August 12 in Norfolk Circuit Court, Hairston forwent a trial and admitted guilt to two counts of conspiracy to obtain money by false pretenses. Court documents show Hairston admitted involvement in two schemes with Johnson that eventually led to his death.
A "Walk for justice/Walk for Omar" event promoting the release of video relating to the shooting took place off 27th Street and Llewellyn Avenue in Norfolk Thursday evening. The day would have been Johnson's 23rd birthday.
Witnesses tell WAVY.com the attack of a shopper was the cause of a heavy police presence at the Ross department store at Military Circle in Norfolk Wednesday night.
State officials say construction on a new Bonner Bridge has been delayed for years because of a legal battle with an environmental group.
Michelle Price with Newport News Public Schools told WAVY.com at least three city school buses ran substantially late Wednesday afternoon, delivering children home several hours after dismissal.
Plans to enhance a popular park in Smithfield are on hold. Some people say City Council is trying to commercialize a natural and historic treasure, and leave them out of the loop.
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Hampton Fire units arrived at the scene of a residential fire in the 3800 block of Shell Road just after 6 p.m.
A police standoff at a Newport News home turned deadly Wednesday evening.