A former police chief who teaches at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York thinks a Fayetteville, N.C., police officer acted appropriately when he shot and killed Nijza Lamar Hagans in January 2013.
Separately, lawyers for the city of Fayetteville on Monday ended their effort in federal court to keep secret from the public a video of the shooting following its publication last week by The Intercept online news website and other media outlets, including the Observer. The person who leaked the video has not been identified.
Hagans' father Reggie Hagans has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the city over Nijza's death.
A Fayetteville police officer shot and killed 22-year-old Nijza Hagans during a traffic stop in a residential driveway off South Virginia Avenue of Morganton Road. Hagans had a gun poking out of his pocket, the officer said afterward, and appeared to reach for it before pushing the car's door into the officer and jumping out.
The officer fired three times at Hagans' front as Hagans came out of the Ford SUV and rushed past him, the video shows. He fired two more times at Hagans' back as Hagans tried to run away. Autopsy evidence appears to show he was hit twice from the front and twice in the back.
"Once a person is armed ... then he is immediately a threat, and poses a deadly threat to life and limb of the officer," Associate Professor John DeCarlo of the Department of Law, Police Science and Criminal Justice Administration at John Jay told the Fayetteville Observer. DeCarlo watched the video of the shooting.