Protesters demand body cam footage in officer-involved shooting

Published: Jun. 26, 2020 at 6:43 PM PDT
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - The lawn in front of Reno’s federal courthouse is no stranger to protests, but Friday these protesters were not marching. They were lying down, each with a sign painted as a gravestone. Each representing a death at the hands of law enforcement.

Names made familiar in recent weeks around the country like George Floyd and Breonna Taylor weren’t among them.

“All of these people are Reno-Sparks residents who have been killed in officer-involved shootings,” explained Black Lives Matter organizer Lilith Baran. “The white ones (the gravestone posters) are ones that they have not released bodycam footage or police reports.”)

And that she said was the point of the protest.

One name, one case was the particular focus of their demands.

Eighteen-year-old Miciah Lee was shot and killed by Sparks Police in January.

According to the family’s attorney, Lee suffered from mental illness and received treatment from early childhood.

One night officers were summoned by Lee’s mother, concerned that he was threatening to commit suicide.

Police say by the time they arrived he had left in a car with a gun. There was a pursuit which ended--according to police in Lee pointing the gun at the officers. They fired, killing him.

Under the officer-involved shooting protocol, the incident was investigated by the Reno Police Department and the results were reportedly turned over to the district attorney last month.

No action has been taken and the body cam video which might explain what happened hasn’t been released.

“We’re demanding bodycam footage be released to the family of Miciah Lee,” said Baran, “and that (Washoe County District Attorney) Christopher Hicks release all of the other body cam video and police reports from the last two years that he has been holding up.”

Following the demonstration at the federal courthouse, the protesters walked to the county courthouse in an attempt to present their demands to District Attorney Hicks. They also want the Sparks officers fired and they want the resignation of Acting Reno City Manager Jason Soto, who was Reno’s Police Chief at the time of the investigation.

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