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Milwaukee cops release video of fatal shooting of armed man

July 16, 2021 GMT

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Milwaukee police released edited video footage Friday of the fatal police shooting of a 49-year-old man who was reportedly suicidal, firing shots and refused multiple commands to drop a gun.

Police released a “community briefing” on YouTube that included redacted 911 recordings and edited body camera footage from the May 30 fatal shooting of Roberto Zielinski.

In the footage, officers hear shots fired, and one says he believed Zielinski was shooting at law enforcement. At one point, an officer says he sees Zielinski with a gun to his head, and another officer is heard telling Zielinski multiple times to drop the gun, that it would be alright, and that officers were there to help him.

Moments before Zielinski was shot, one officer said Zielinski was pointing a gun at law enforcement. At that point, the officer who fired his weapon said, “I know. I’m gonna take him. I’m taking him,” and then the officer fired.

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Zielinski’s family said he was in a mental health crisis, and they demanded transparency, saying it took nearly seven weeks for video to be released and that it was released in edited form, instead of raw footage that would allow community members and media to draw their own conclusions about what happened.

Russell Ainsworth, the family’s attorney, said at a Friday news conference that the released video was doctored and edited to push the police narrative. “That is not transparent, that is not accountability, and that is not justice,” Ainsworth said.

The officer who shot Zielinski, a 47-year-old with more than six years of service, has been placed on administrative duty.