Expert Says Footage Of Officer Shooting Difficult But Shows Officers’ Reality

Monday, September 14th 2020, 8:51 pm
By: Kristen Weaver

TULSA, Okla. -

A judge ordered the release Monday of a video that shows the shooting of two Tulsa Police officers, an incident that resulted in the death of Sgt. Craig Johnson. 

News On 6 decided not to release the raw footage or show the actual shooting. While some officers are urging people not to watch the video, others said it shows why it's so critical for officers to see and control a suspect's hands. 

Related Story: Body Cam Video Of Tulsa Officer Shooting Released

Retired Tulsa homicide Sergeant Dave Walker said this video is incredibly difficult to watch but said it's the reality of situations officers face every day.

In the body and dash camera video, police pull over suspect David Ware for making an illegal turn, having expired tags. Officers ask Ware to get out of his car after finding he had no license or insurance, so they can tow his car, but Ware refuses.

"Our officers gave more than 40 commands, 40 times, they ask him to exit that vehicle, before they use any type of force," said Tulsa Police Chief Wendell Franklin. "Seven times he was warned before he was tased. Seven times."

After Sgt. Craig Johnson deploys the taser, he's then forced to pepper spray Ware. Then he and officer Aurash Zarkeshan try to pull Ware from the car. That's when Ware grabs a gun from under the seat and begins to fire, killing Sgt. Johnson and wounding Officer Zarkeshan.

"It's going to be traumatic for everyone that's worn that badge, that cares about the uniform," said Walker.

Walker was Tulsa's lead homicide detective for several years and said he respects the judge's decision to release the video. He said it is a way to show the public that police officers never know what a suspect is capable of doing.

"Many times, we don't know what's in the minds of the offender, the person we're going to speak with," Walker said. "When you hear cops say show us your hands, keep your hands out of your pockets, we want you to go home too."

Walker said there should never be a loss of life in law enforcement but sometimes it is reality.

"There's only one person responsible for what happened here and that's who pulled the trigger,” Walker said.

Franklin said in his news conference that the video is the most incriminating evidence they have against Ware.

We reached out to Ware's attorney for comment and have not heard back.