A 17-year-old lady shot and killed by a Fullerton police officer on the 91 Freeway was pointing what turned out to be a reproduction handgun, video of the deadly confrontation launched Friday exhibits.
The Fullerton Police Division on Friday afternoon launched the body-worn digicam footage, in addition to a 911 name the teenager’s father made through which he reported that she had gone lacking with a rental automotive whereas on treatment.
An lawyer for the household of Hannah Linn Williams acknowledged that the video confirmed her in a “capturing stance,” and mentioned she had suffered from psychological well being points. The household beforehand described the capturing as unjustified.
Fullerton police Cpl. Scott Flynn, an on-duty, uniformed officer, had been driving a marked police SUV on the eastbound 91, taking his police canine to a veterinarian.
Warning – this video is graphic and there’s sturdy language:
The officer noticed the 17-year-old touring “at a excessive price of pace” in an SUV about 7 p.m. July 5, a Friday, close to Glassell Road in Anaheim, in accordance with Fullerton police Lt. Jon Radus. Flynn tried to tug over the SUV, which appeared to deliberately collide with the police automobile, the lieutenant added.
The SUV made a u-turn into oncoming site visitors, Radus mentioned, then skidded to a cease. The body-worn digicam footage launched by police begins because the officer exits his automobile and begins strolling towards the SUV, which is parked going through the unsuitable route on a freeway on-ramp.
The SUV initially blocks a transparent view of the driving force. However as Flynn walks across the again of the automobile, the video exhibits, he comes head to head with Williams holding what would later change into a reproduction firearm, pointed on the officer. Flynn instantly opens hearth, and Williams drops to the bottom.
Williams was handcuffed, the video exhibits. Williams tells the officer “please assist me, please,” then repeats “I can’t breathe” a number of occasions. She was handled on the scene, earlier than being taken to a hospital, the place she died.
Ninety minutes later, unaware of what occurred, her father referred to as 911 to report her lacking. He tells a dispatcher that she took their rental automotive a number of hours prior, and was on anti-depressants. He mentioned the household tried to name her or observe her cellphone, however couldn’t discover her. The daddy additionally instructed the dispatcher that he didn’t suppose his daughter had any weapons on her.
“Are you afraid she goes to harm herself?” the dispatcher requested.
“I’m,” the daddy responded.
Earlier this week, the DA’s workplace launched a photograph of the reproduction handgun –which officers famous looked “identical” to a Beretta – that they are saying was discovered subsequent to the lady.
Her supporters had maintained that she was unarmed, with a spokesman for the household saying “a pretend gun is a pretend gun.”
Within the days for the reason that capturing, a few of the lady’s members of the family and their attorneys repeatedly demanded answers as to what exactly prompted the shooting.
The teenager was working as a lifeguard at Knott’s Berry Farm and getting ready to be a senior at Magnolia Excessive College.
She was an inexperienced driver who had simply utilized for a learner’s allow, her household mentioned, and he or she could have unintentionally ended up on a freeway she had by no means pushed on.
Her household’s lawyer had referred to as the contact between the autos a “fender bender.”
S. Lee Merritt, the lawyer, on Friday mentioned he, however not the household, watched the video.
Merritt mentioned Williams had begun struggling along with her psychological well being a 12 months in the past, however gave the impression to be having a very good day earlier than she left with the automotive.
“This officer had little or no time to make that type of (psychological well being) evaluation,” Merritt mentioned. “We recognize that and the household acknowledges that. He got here across the nook and he noticed an individual in a capturing stance and it’s tough to make a split-second resolution in that method. We will’t exonerate him at this level, however we definitely can’t condemn him.”
“We nonetheless have questions, however they’ll sleep higher tonight understanding they’ve some solutions,” the lawyer added.
Merritt mentioned Williams had a earlier altercation with police after she went AWOL in April from Kids’s Hospital of Orange County, the place she was being handled for melancholy. He mentioned she tried to evade sheriff’s deputies outdoors the ability, however was tackled and brought again.
Earlier than that, in September 2018, Williams went lacking and was discovered by police at an Anaheim bus cease, Merritt mentioned. She was taken to the police station and launched.
The household declined to talk throughout a short information convention as they left a gathering late Friday on the DA’s workplace.
Merritt advised that authorities institute insurance policies to offer members of the family data sooner.
“I simply spoke to the district lawyer, and he acknowledged there needs to be a greater process to tell households of what occurred to their family members when data is thought,” Merritt mentioned. “They shouldn’t be left in the dead of night.”
DA spokeswoman Kimberly Edds mentioned the workplace is taking a look at their insurance policies and “exploring choices on how one can launch preliminary data to members of the family and the general public whereas preserving the integrity of our investigation.”
Flynn is a seasoned officer who began with the La Palma Police Division in 2008 and left for Fullerton police in 2014.
The DA’s investigation is specializing in whether or not his actions had been lawful.
The Anaheim Police Division is investigating the lady’s actions simply earlier than the capturing, whereas the Fullerton Police Division is figuring out whether or not the officer adopted company insurance policies.