A still of the video released by Des Moines police. You can see the car being pursued by police to the right of the flashing lights.
A still of the video released by Des Moines police. You can see the car being pursued by police to the right of the flashing lights. Des Moines Police

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Des Moines police on Thursday released video of the fatal shooting of Giovonn Joseph-McDade, a 20-year-old Green River College student, by a police officer during a pursuit last weekend. The video came from a private home in the neighborhood where McDade was shot.

The Des Moines police—who are investigating the shooting—say that the video shows McDade's car backing up, and then accelerating car into a patrol vehicle. In a follow-up e-mail, Des Moines assistant chief Bob Bohl said listeners can hear the collision right before the two gunshots. But flashing lights obscure the video during the moment and question, so it's difficult to make out exactly what happened the seconds before McDade died. In a new release of information, the Des Moines police also say that "the suspect driver continued between the two patrol vehicles where the officer was standing" before an officer shot him.

The Kent Police Department does not equip its officers or patrol vehicles with cameras, so there is no source of video from the police cars or officers themselves.

Des Moines police also released more information about the two officers involved in the shooting, who are currently on paid administrative leave per department policy, but did not release their names. The officer who shot McDade is a field training officer in the Kent Police Department's patrol unit, is 42 years-old, and has served in the department for five years and eight months after 10 years at an out-of-state law enforcement agency. The other officer, who did not discharge his weapon but responded to the scene, is 26 and has been in the department for two and a half years.

In the same release, Des Moines police say that a friend of McDade's, Devonte Cheeks, was a passenger the car while McDade was shot, but he was not injured. Cheeks was taken into custody for unrelated outstanding warrants, police said, and provided a statement—though Bohl said that statement would not be released at this point in the investigation.

The Des Moines investigators also say that Kent police made two separate pursuit intervention technique (PIT) attempts, not one, as the original release indicated, to stop McDade after he allegedly failed to stop for an unknown traffic violation. (A PIT is a maneuver in which a police officer in a patrol vehicle attempts to spin out and stop a car by bumping its rear-side.) At the point McDade failed to stop, the release said, his alleged crime became "felony eluding."

Police say officers first made a PIT attempt before McDade turned into the cul de sac where he was shot and a second attempt spun McDade's vehicle and stopped it. Police departments commonly restrict PIT maneuvers to specially trained officers and prohibit their use above certain speeds, because in some circumstances, they can be considered deadly force. At this point, it's not yet clear why the officers chose to pursue McDade's car and use PIT maneuvers. Kent police have not yet provided The Stranger with a copy of their own PIT policies.

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The car can be seen exiting the cul de sac after an officer fired shots. It eventually comes to a stop. McDade died at the scene.

Bohl, of the Des Moines police department, said he didn't know whether the officers involved had PIT training.

Update: The Stranger has obtained a copy of the Kent Police Department's PIT policy by public records request. Officers are supposed to consider "reasonableness," which includes factors like the "nature and seriousness of the offense" and "whether the continued movement of the suspect vehicle presents a substantial and immediate risk of serious physical injury or death to officers or the public." The Des Moines police have not yet released information on the alleged traffic violation that initiated the pursuit.

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