The Winston-Salem Journal and News & Record are calling for the public release of body camera footage and any other recordings that would show what happened on August 5 when five law enforcement officers shot and killed a Charlotte man in front of a Clemmons convenience store.
Authorities said 24-year-old Alexander Dekontee Weah died in an exchange of gunfire at the Speedway convenience store on Lewisville-Clemmons Road around 8:12 a.m. as officers tried to serve him with a warrant for Charlotte’s murder. A Greensboro police officer, Michael D. Ambrosio, was injured in the incident.
Law enforcement officials have not released any additional information. Four Greensboro police officers and a Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officer shot Weah, according to the State Bureau of Investigation. The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department said Detective Paul Weis of the Violent Crime Apprehension Team shot Weah and is on paid administrative leave, pending an investigation. The Greensboro Police Department said its four officers are on administrative duty pending an internal investigation, but did not identify the officers.
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Mike Tadych, an attorney for the two newspapers, filed a petition in Forsyth Superior Court on August 16. The motion asks a judge to release “all body camera footage, dash cam recordings, cell phone recordings or any other recordings related to this incident…since (when) the forces of the first met Mr. Weah until the scene was cleared by all law enforcement.
A hearing on the petition has not yet been scheduled.
Talaya Hinson, a woman who describes herself as Weah’s fiancée, gave a vivid account of what she said she saw.
She said Weah tried to flee when an officer pointing a gun “in his face” confronted Weah as he exited the store. The officer demanded that he get off. Hinson said the officer chased Weah and shot him four times, hitting Weah twice in the back. Weah then pulled out his own gun and fired a single shot before other officers shot Weah multiple times, knocking him to the sidewalk, Hinson told the Winston-Salem Journal on the day of the shooting.
Hinson also alleged that officers did not try to save Weah’s life and turned him onto his back and handcuffed him “as he spurted blood”.
The Greensboro Police Department referred the Journal to policies that require officers to provide medical assistance or provide medical treatment to people they have shot.
Hinson is also the ex-wife of the man Weah was accused of killing. In a later interview, Talaya Hinson confirmed that Weah killed her husband, James Michael Hinson, during a confrontation between the two men that took place in Charlotte on August 3. The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department said in a news release that Weah was wanted. for the death of Michael Hinson.
Talaya Hinson told the Journal that Weah shot her husband in the chest because he thought Michael Hinson was looking for a weapon. No weapon was found on Michael Hinson’s body.
The Winston-Salem Journal filed multiple requests with the City of Greensboro for information on the four Greensboro police officers, including their names. The Greensboro Police Department declined to provide names, although the department has released the names of officers who have killed someone in other incidents.
The Winston-Salem Police Department and Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office routinely release the names of officers who have killed someone in the line of duty.
Acting Greensboro Police Chief Teresa Biffle told the News & Record last week that the department would not release the names of the four officers due to the “current climate of aggression against law enforcement.” . She gave no specific example.
“I’m just trying to respect the investigation and also the current climate,” Biffle said. “I can’t deny that there are threats against law enforcement right now.”
News & Record reporter Kenwyn Caranna contributed to this report.