A D.C. police officer shot and killed Kevin Hargraves-Shird on Saturday, July 30. On Monday, Aug. 1, the 31-year-old’s family watched body camera footage of the fatal encounter.
Hargraves-Shird’s sister, Serena Hargraves, says the footage shows a White officer pull out his gun before he exits his car. “As he’s jumping out, he says ‘gun’ and shoots one time, and that was it,” she says.
Hargraves tells City Paper the footage does not show a gun and the officer did not give a command, despite what police have said.
“There’s no commands given,” she says. “I keep reading reports that they told him to drop a gun. But none of that ever happened.”
Hargraves says the officer, who has not been identified publicly or to the family, called for an ambulance. When other officers arrived on the scene, the body camera video shows them handcuffing Hargraves-Shird as he bled profusely from the head, Hargraves says.
Hargraves says she watched the footage with other members of her family and says they told the District to release the footage to the public.
“He was the only officer on the scene at the time. He pulled up, jumped out, and shot,” she says. “Y’all are gonna see. We told them to release it.”
D.C. law requires the mayor to identify officers involved in fatal and serious uses of force and to release body camera footage of those incidents within five business days. The law gives weight to family members’ wishes in publicly releasing body camera footage.
“He loved his children. He loved his family,” Hargraves says of her younger brother. “Family was very important to him. He was an overall good person, no matter what they’re trying to make it seem like. They’re trying to demonize him. That’s not who he was.”
Executive Assistant Chief of Police Ashan Benedict said Saturday that following an exchange of gun fire between two cars and pedestrians at Longfellow Street and Georgia Avenue NW, police began looking for a black sedan and green sedan. Benedict said MPD also received a call about a third vehicle “with multiple guns being brandished and being strewn about.”
Benedict said officers followed that vehicle to 2nd and Madison streets NW, and when an officer exited his vehicle, he “engaged an armed man, gave a command, those commands were not complied with, and he fired one time, striking that individual.”
Benedict said Saturday that whether Hargraves-Shird pointed a gun at the officer is “still under investigation.” He also said police recovered four firearms, one of which they believe is an automatic weapon. Another, he said, was found next to Hargraves-Shird. Agents from MPD’s internal affairs bureau will investigate the shooting.
“It was literally watching my brother get murdered,” Hargraves says of watching the body camera footage. “I need that murderer in jail. I need him arrested.”