The Sacramento Police Department released audio and body camera footage showing the moments leading to the shooting death of Jeremy Southern.
According to police, Southern, 22, who matched the description of a shooter, was walking with a female acquaintance when officers spotted him. Police were at the apartment complex following up on a shooting that occurred last week. Southern allegedly matched the suspect’s description based on a tattoo.
When Southern spotted police, he ran and reportedly pulled a handgun and pointed it at officers.
“I’m gonna die today!” he yelled at police while pacing in the courtyard.
In the body camera video, officers are heard telling him to “drop the gun,” “put your hands up,” and “we don’t want to shoot you.”
Bystander video also shows Southern pointing a gun at officers and using his cellphone.
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In the body camera video, a woman is seen standing in between Southern and officers at one point. In the video, the officers tell the woman to move while continuing to tell Southern to drop the gun. Southern is then heard telling the woman to go. After more than 3 minutes of police yelling commands and Southern yelling back at officers, an officer armed with a rifle and in position shoots and hits Southern.
In body camera video, officers are heard yelling “stay on the ground,” and “don’t move.”
One officer yells, “he’s moving toward the gun.” When Southern attempts to crawl toward his gun, he is shot a second time.
He was transported to the local hospital where he was pronounced dead from suicide by cop.
Southern’s sister, Ida Southern, said her brother “was scared.”
“For somebody who goes through as much as we went through, he was scared,” she said. “If he really had a gun like they say he did, then of course he has some of the blame to share.”
She also said his family should share blame for the shooting due to his troubled childhood. Southern was raised with six siblings in a foster home.
“He wasn’t this monster that everybody’s try to make him out to be,” she said. “Not only did he grow up going through abuse, but as a young adult, he didn’t have anybody that was able to help him either. I did everything I could, but it still wasn’t enough.”
I’m raising money for RIP Jeremy. Click to Donate https://t.co/rCVYqW3AdY
— Ida Southern (@MrsAntoine4Life) July 23, 2020
Southern’s sister said her brother “wanted a better life and I feel like life just kept taking away from him.”
She added, “He was not completely innocent, but this was not what was supposed to happen to him.”
Ida has launched a GoFundMe campaign to raise money for a second autopsy.
BLM Sacramento founder Tanya Faison said the shooting is another example where police failed to deescalate a situation.
“I think if he had a gun, that he should have been detained. They should have deescalated and he should have gotten his due process,” Faison said. “There have been situations where Sac PD has been faced with gunfire and they have been able to deescalate and arrest somebody and given them their due process. The police do not play the judge, the jury. They don’t play the executioner. Their job is to deescalate and detain.”
The BLM movement, she said, intends to march “for another young black man that’s been killed by Sac PD.”
According to court records, Southern had a lengthy criminal record that included a domestic violence conviction and a four year prison stint for child abuse.