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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – Ben Crump, nationally renowned civil rights and personal injury attorney representing Dana Fletcher’s family, demanded the release of police body camera footage and related video in the fatal shooting of Fletcher. Fletcher was killed by Madison Police officers outside of a Planet Fitness on October 27. The Madison County Sheriff’s Office said Thursday that Dana Fletcher reached for a gun and pointed it at Madison Police officers before they shot and killed him. Crump and the family spoke at a news conference at Reunited Fellowship of Deliverance Monday and sharply disputed investigators’ version of events. While investigators said Fletcher and his wife, Cherelle Fletcher, were uncooperative when police confronted them while they sat in the family’s van. Crump said that wasn’t the case. Crump said Madison Police Department officers yelled contradictory orders at Fletcher, and his wife, before an officer shot and fatally wounded Fletcher. “Cherrelle had her hands up… Dana had his hands up … when police approach the vehicles and start to assault and confront them,” Crump said. Fletcher’s wife and sisters shared their heartbreak at Monday’s press conference. “As you can imagine life changes for us drastically in a matter of minutes … we are never going to be the same,” said his sister, Shayla Fletcher.
Crump said the shooting was unjustifiable — but that it is consistent with a pattern of black men being shot by police. The Madison County Sheriff’s Office said Thursday it has finished its investigation into the fatal shooting and has passed its report to the Madison County District Attorney’s Office. Sheriff Kevin Turner repeated earlier statements by investigators that Fletcher had a gun when he was killed. The sheriff’s office has previously said it has “irrefutable evidence” that Fletcher was armed during the incident. Crump questioned the police response in the run-up to the shooting and said the official version of events doesn’t add up. Fletcher’s family is demanding police video from the incident. “We want the tapes … now. If they support what you say … lying Madison police… release the video … now,”  Shayla Fletcher said. Fletcher’s wife Cherelle, who was there with her 8-year-old daughter during the shooting says there’s so much she wants to say to her husband but offered a short version Monday. “I was with you until the end just like I always said I would be … I didn’t realize that it was going to happen so soon.” Fletcher’s mother, daughter, Pastor James M. Jones, Sr. and community activist Frank Matthews were also in attendance. It is not clear if the City of Madison will release any part or all of the police bodycam videos that were on during the fatal encounter with Fletcher.