MADISON, Ala. — The wife of a black man who was shot to death by Madison police while she and their daughter were just feet away is adamant that he wasn't armed despite police claims to the contrary, her lawyer said Tuesday.
Attorney Ben Crump, in a telephone interview with The Associated Press, said Cherelle Fletcher is "absolutely" certain her husband Dana Fletcher didn't have a gun when he was killed last month.
Crump said authorities should be "fully transparent" about the shooting and release video of the confrontation.
"We demand the release of all unedited law enforcement bodycam and surveillance video related to the police confrontation with Dana Fletcher, and ask for police to show proof for their public statement that Dana had a gun. This is important to restore the community’s confidence in law enforcement,” said attorney Benjamin Crump.
Antonio Romanunni, co-counsel for the investigation, is a personal injury lawyer based in Chicago. He is urging police to release the body cam footage.
"“The only way to know the truth is for law enforcement to be fully and immediately transparent. Let us see today whether police officers acted rightfully to protect their lives or if this was police misconduct that resulted in the wrongful execution of Dana Fletcher. His family and community have a right to know exactly what happened that day,” said Antonio Romanucci, founding partner at Romanucci & Blandin, LLC.
The Madison County sheriff's office, which is investigating the shooting by police in the city of Madison, has refused to make it public.
"It's always amazing. They say they did nothing wrong but won't be transparent," Crump said.
Civil rights activist Frank Matthews said community organizers will be announcing protests related to the shooting.
Fletcher was fatally wounded by police responding to a report of a suspicious person outside a gymnasium on October 27. His wife posted publicly on Facebook that she and their 8-year-old daughter were with her husband in a van when officers approached them.
"I saw the officers shoot him and I saw his body on the ground covered in blood right next to the passenger door he was trying to close. There was no crime committed. My family and I were there so I could workout," she wrote.
Video from bystanders captured scenes of a confrontation beside the van and the sound of a flurry of gunshots.
Crump's comments came after a community gathering held Monday night about Fletcher's slaying. News outlets reported the meeting turned raucous as people confronted authorities over the death of Fletcher, 39.
While refusing to release details of the investigation, Sheriff Kevin Turner told the crowd he had seen police video that clearly showed a weapon before officers shot Fletcher.
"Whether you want to believe it or you don't, there was a weapon involved," he said.