VIDEO: Police release body-camera footage from latest LMPD shooting
LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - For the second straight day, a stone-faced Louisville Metro Police Chief Steve Conrad spoke at a news conference Thursday and released body-camera video from his officers who were involved in a deadly shooting with a suspect.
Police said numerous calls to 911 were made after a suspect had broken homes' windows in the 400 block of 42nd Street. One of those calls for service was made by the suspect's family member.
When officers arrived, they were immediately asked for help by one of the suspect's family members. That person told police the man was inside of the house and trying to set it on fire.
The video then showed officers walk up to the door. That's when the suspect threw a knife, or several knives, at the officers, striking Officer DeGerald Watson Morgan, police said.
Watson Morgan's body camera showed the moment he was struck by the knife.
The body camera on the other officer, Brendan Kaiser, showed him dodging an object, then firing two separate bursts of shots, one from the front entrance of the home, and a second just past the living room. In each instance, it was difficult to see Jackson, but Kaiser had made numerous demands for Jackson to show his hands.
"I know these videos are difficult to watch," Conrad said. "They're difficult for me to watch."
In the body camera video, Kaiser then noticed the room next to him was on fire. He repeatedly asked for help to extinguish the fire as the home's alarm went off.
Officers arrived to help Kaiser. They broke through the back door and got the suspect out of the house.
The suspect, Isaac Jackson, 42 died at the hospital from gunshot wounds.
"Officer Watson Morgan was treated and released," Maj. Frank Hardison, who commands the LMPD Special Investigations Division, said.
Late Wednesday afternoon, Conrad addressed reporters gathered to learn new details about Tuesday's shooting on 29th Street that left 21-year-old Demonjhea Jordan dead. That body camera video shows Jordan shooting at officers while running down the street. Officers returned fire. In that incident police were responding to call about a robbery.
Wednesday night's shooting at 42nd Street is the fifth officer-involved shooting in the past 30 days in Jefferson County. All but one were fatal.
LMPD was involved in four of those incidents. Only four such incidents took place in all of last year.
On March 31, LMPD officers were investigating a suspicious vehicle at the Breckinridge Square Apartments in Meadowview Estates. The officers asked the driver to get out of the car and the driver complied. Conrad explained that Elijah Eubanks, a passenger in the car, did not comply when asked to exit the vehicle. According to body camera footage, Eubanks pulled a revolver on the officer, firing first. The officers returned fire, hitting Eubanks. The officers called for help and gave first aid till EMS arrived. Eubanks survived.
On April 8, officers encountered Russell Bowman, who was armed with a screwdriver. LMPD officers could be heard through their body cameras asking Bowman to put the screwdriver down. Bowman lunged with the screwdriver at one of the officers. That's when officers opened fire, fatally striking Bowman. WAVE 3 News then exclusively reported one of the officers who fired shots had saved Bowman's life a year and half before. In the life-saving incident, Officer Devin Dawes put pressure on a stab wound Bowman inflicted upon himself, helping to control the bleeding until EMS arrived.
On April 22, two men were involved in an altercation at Bardstown Road and Bashford Manor Lane. Miguel Escalona Vivas, 37 was seen by witnesses chasing another man with a gun. That man had been shot. Two officers from West Buechel Police and Hurstbourne Acres Police became involved after a witness flagged one of them down. Police said both officers Walz and Phelps told Vivas to drop his gun, but he refused and pointed it at the officers. That is when the officers fired at Vivas. He died. The man who Vivas shot later died.
On April 24, LMPD officers responded to a call about a robbery at a Metro PCS store on 2600 W. Market St. According to Conrad, 1st Division officers spotted a man matching the description of the suspect walking in the 500 block of N. 29th Street, approximately one block from their station. The body camera video showed the suspect, Demonjhea Jordan, firing at officers. Officers fired back, fatally striking Jordan.
Conrad addressed the troubling pattern of recent instances where officers end up firing their guns at suspects.
"It's concerning," he said. "It creates anxiety. It creates stress for our community and for our officers ... Policing is dangerous."
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