The family of Amaree’ya Henderson, a Black DoorDash driver who was shot and killed by Kansas City, Kansa Police, has expressed frustrations with the amount of information they have received surrounding their son’s death.
According to lawyers representing the family, there has been a lack of transparency at the Wyandotte County District Attorney’s Office when trying to seek “critical” information around Amaree’ya Henderson’s death. One of the critical pieces of information that has yet to be shared with the family is recorded footage from police dashboards and body cameras of the officers involved.
“The issue is that the family has a right, a legal right, to see the body cam footage,” family lawyer, Harper Williams told the Kansas City Star.
She also noted that although the officer has been placed on paid leave, they were also granted “anonymity” by law enforcement and the family hasn’t been told the name of the officer who killed Amaree’ya Henderson.
“We’re already fighting for the bodycam footage, we should at least know the officer’s name,” said Williams.
Amaree’ya Henderson was killed by KCKPD on April 26 after a confrontation during a traffic stop. Police haven’t released much information surrounding the incident, but the family says he was unarmed and posed no threat to police.
According to the Star, Henderson’s mother was on the phone with him during the moments of his death. She says Henderson called her on FaceTime and asked her to come to where he had been pulled over. Moments later, she overhears gunfire. His fiancee, who was in the car when he was shot, recalls officers “grabbing, pulling, punching” Henderson before he was shot twice.
Family lawyer, Nuru Witherspoon called out the officers saying instead of protecting a man who had expressed fear in a hostile situation, police did the opposite.
“We have a guy that he says, ‘I’m afraid, and I want my mother,’” Witherspoon said to the Star when discussing the conversation Henderson had with police. “But to go the other direction. There aren’t many cases like this. And then when you create this danger, when you create this chaos, you shoot him and he say he’s responsible for his own death. And it just doesn’t even make sense.”
Last week, protesters, civil rights organizations and community members gathered at the Kansas City, Kansas, Police Department, demanding that the bodycam footage be released.
By law, Police do not have to share bodycam footage with the public, but Kansas state law says family members of people killed by police have a right to view the footage in a private setting. This family deserves so much more than the release of some bodycam footage, but it is a start. Real justice would be for the officers involved to be held accountable for their actions, but we know how that goes…
Click here if you like to donate to GoFundMe for Amaree’ya Henderson.
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