Winston-Salem Police Department releases video of officer-involved shooting

September 27
16:06 2018

Chronicle Staff Report

The video of an officer-involved fatal shooting has been released.

Forsyth County District Attorney Jim O’Neill announced the conclusion of the investigation into the fatal police shooting of Edward Van McCrae found the officer acted lawfully in self-defense.

The Winston-Salem Police Department has posted the video, which is above.

Portions of the video are graphic and the city has blurred the video in some places out of consideration for McCrae’s family. The unedited version of the video is in the court file. City officials urge anyone who obtains the video to exercise caution in its use due to its graphic nature.

The Winston-Salem Police Department asked the court to allow the public release of the video. “Our department is committed to transparency in cases such as this,” said Police Chief Catrina Thompson. “Knowing the amount of public interest in this case within the community, I believe that posting the video is warranted.”

Winston-Salem Police Officer D.E. McGuire fatally shot McCrae, 60, during a struggle at a traffic stop in March. O’Neill said that the body cam footage, crime scene photos, autopsy report, witness statements and the parallel investigations of the Winston-Salem Police Department and State Bureau of Investigation led to the conclusion that McGuire acted in self-defense.

“All the evidence in this case indicates that Officer McGuire acted appropriately and lawfully,” said O’Neill.

An attorney for McCrae’s family said they disagree with the decision and plan to seek civil remedies. The family’s attorney, John Vermitsky, said they appreciated the professionalism of the Winston-Salem Police Department (WSPD) and the District Attorney’s (D.A.) Office during the investigation, but were disappointed that probable cause to file charges against Officer McGuire was not found. He said the family was glad there was no violence in the streets because of the incidence and hoped that would continue. He said their concerns will be addressed in the civil system.

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