Video released from police shooting of N.O. East resident - FOX 8, WVUE, fox8live.com, weather, app, news, saints

Video released from police shooting of N.O. East resident

A federal judge dismisses a wrongful death civil lawsuit against the NOPD and City of New Orleans.  Now, video of the man shot and killed by police is released for the first time.

On April 9, 2010, NOPD officers confronted Brian Harris inside his New Orleans East home. Harris' wife called 911 that night, asking for help. She thought her husband was upset because he'd recently lost his job, and was locked in his room with a knife. She suspected he'd taken sleeping pills.

Video taken that night from a camera on one officer's Taser shows police storming the room and tasing Harris. After being tased twice, officers shot and killed Harris.

Attorney Jason Williams represents Harris' widow. He explains, "Officers basically said in depositions that Brian failed to heed to their command. He didn't respect their authority."

Harris' family sued the NOPD and the City of New Orleans, claiming the officers weren't properly trained to handle people with mental illness. On Friday, a federal judge threw out that lawsuit.

Williams says, "I'm not surprised, given the court's rulings and the reasons in the order. The Fifth Circuit [Court of Appeals] is a very, very conservative jurisdiction because they have yet to tackle the issues of mental health crisis situations."

Williams says NOPD officers apologized because they knew they made mistakes. But he says it's the city who wouldn't agree to give the Harris family a dime.

"So if the police officers who were present see that they made some mistakes, that they thought they'd be disciplined because they didn't follow proper protocol, well certainly the city and the city's attorneys should see it the same way," Williams said.

The attorney tells FOX 8, although it's painful for the Harris family to see the police video of Brian Harris and relive the painful memories of that evening, they aren't willing to give up their fight against the city.

"We're going to appeal this and we're going to file a lawsuit in state court as well. This case is not over -- this is a fight, this is a war," said Williams.

FOX 8 received a statement from the Mayor's Office, saying the officers on the scene followed protocol because they were in a situation where their lives were threatened. And that was recognized by the judge who dismissed the lawsuit Friday.

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