The police chief of West Virginia’s capital city said two officers shot and wounded a Black man wielding a knife Friday afternoon, a confrontation captured on police body camera video that was released at a news conference.
Charleston Police Chief James ‘Tyke’ Hunt said Denaul Dickerson, 33, was shot about five times and taken to a hospital where he was in stable condition. Detectives and prosecutors in Kanawha County, whose seat is Charleston, will review the case, the police chief said in briefing reporters.
Hunt did not announce any action taken against the officers involved or disclose their races.
Police body camera footage presented at the news conference begins by showing officers having a conversation with Dickerson as they stood on a sidewalk in the capital city’s West Side neighborhood.
Hunt said officers arrived after receiving a 911 call that Dickerson had allegedly threatened to stab someone.
Less than a minute into the video, which begins at around 12:45 p.m., Dickerson can be seen running into the street after speaking to several officers, yelling at them to get away from him. An officer tells him to drop a knife from his hand, the video shows.
Hunt said Dickerson had a bench warrant over a case involving allegations he brandished a weapon at an officer last year.
The video shows at least two officers begin to point their firearms at Dickerson as he faces them on the street. “I told y’all the last time to kill me,” he yells at the officers, then turns around and walks down the street, saying “I didn’t do nothing wrong.”
More police cars drive up as he backs away. About two minutes after the start of the footage, more than half a dozen officers surround Dickerson on an empty grassy lot. Dickerson says on video that he is going home when he turns around to face officers and motions toward one of them. At that moment he was shot, gunfire ringing out.
“As the officer with the Taser begins to close distance to deploy the Taser, you will see Mr. Dickerson take an aggressive stance,” Hunt said. “When he takes a lunging movement toward our police officers, two officers fire.”
Footage shows Dickerson fall to ground. Officers immediately place him on his stomach and attend to the bloody wound on his upper leg as he cries in pain. Hunt said medical services arrived within two minutes.
Hunt said not all officers in the department are issued Tasers. He added that the pandemic decreased the opportunity to give officers the required training to carry a Taser.
Body camera footage from more than one officer was shown at the news conference, but the clips weren’t released otherwise.