Family upset over NOPD shooting of mentally ill man

Family upset over NOPD shooting of mentally ill man

NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) - Family members of a man New Orleans Police shot and killed, Friday, say they were horrified watching the body camera footage of the incident. Donald Davis Jr.'s loved ones say he should have never become a victim.

"I'm sorry I couldn't be there for him at the time. I really wish I had known he was going through all that," said Davis Jr.'s aunt Lenell Parker.

Parker looks up at the apartment where her nephew spent the last eight years of his life, in the complex he was killed.

"There had to be something that triggered him off like that because Donald don't normally act like that at all," Parker explained.

Friday, May 17, New Orleans Police representatives say officers responded to an aggravated assault call at an apartment complex on Parc Brittany in New Orleans East.

They say, once on scene, they found 40-year-old Donald Davis Jr. with a gun.

According to NOPD superintendent Shaun Ferguson, police body camera clearly shows Davis Jr. firing at officers.

He says they returned fire, shooting and killing Davis Jr.

"He wasn't out to kill anybody. He was out for attention," Parker claimed.

Parker says she saw the video, too.

"I think they acted the way they were supposed to act but it wasn't cause for him to be shot down," she said.

Parker says her nephew suffered from a history of mental illness, including Bipolar Disorder and Schizophrenia.

"He used to hear voices and stuff but he never did harm anybody," said Parker.

She believes Davis Jr.'s outburst, last week, was a cry for help, yet NOPD representatives say the department had no prior knowledge of Davis Jr.'s mental history.

Fox 8 checked Davis Jr.'s criminal record. It dates back to 2010. In 2014, documents indicate Davis Jr. pleaded guilty to 2014 charges including attempted robbery, resisting an officer and attempt to disarm a peace officer.

His record mentions nothing about mental illness.

Parker believes, had police known, things might have turned out differently.

"When they read and run their name up, all that should come along with it, that the person has mental problems and they can handle it a different way," Parker explained.

Now, Parker and the rest of Davis Jr.'s family is trying to move forward, mourning a man they call "a good guy" with a great sense of humor.

"Donald was a sweet person. He wasn't a thug. He wasn't a drug dealer. He was a regular ole guy trying to make it day to day," said Parker.

Fox 8 reached out to NOPD. Representatives say they plan to release body camera footage of the incident next week.

A police source tells Fox 8, even after Davis Jr. was on the ground, video shows him pointing a gun at officers.

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