Opelika police will not release report, video of officer-involve - WFLA News Channel 8

Opelika police will not release report, video of officer-involved shooting

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After the shooting, the Opelika Police Chief John McEachern told the media all investigative reports, audio and video tapes would be released once they get the files back from the Alabama Bureau of Investigation. After the shooting, the Opelika Police Chief John McEachern told the media all investigative reports, audio and video tapes would be released once they get the files back from the Alabama Bureau of Investigation.
20-year-old Michael Davidson was shot by an Opelika Police Officer Philip Hancock after a traffic stop on Interstate-85. Authorities say Officer Hancock was responding to a call on the interstate about an erratic driver. 20-year-old Michael Davidson was shot by an Opelika Police Officer Philip Hancock after a traffic stop on Interstate-85. Authorities say Officer Hancock was responding to a call on the interstate about an erratic driver.
Davidson's father says his son was only holding his wallet. Davidson's family is now suing the city of Opelika and Officer Hancock. Davidson's father says his son was only holding his wallet. Davidson's family is now suing the city of Opelika and Officer Hancock.
OPELIKA, Ala. -

The Opelika Police Department announced Tuesday they will not release the investigative report or dash cam video from the officer-involved shooting in March.

20-year-old Michael Davidson was shot by Opelika Police Officer Philip Hancock after a traffic stop on Interstate-85. Authorities say Officer Hancock was responding to a call on the interstate about an erratic driver. Hancock shot Davidson in the stomach when Hancock “perceived a threat” after asking Davidson to put his hands over his head, according to authorities. Davidson survived, but suffered serious damage to his stomach and colon.

Davidson's father spoke to News 3 after the shooting -- he said Michael was traveling from Texas to Seymour Johnson Air Force Base in Goldsboro, North Carolina when his vehicle side swiped another along Interstate 85. He said Michael was walking along the roadway to exchange information with the second driver when police asked him to raise his hands. The father told News 3 his son complied and raised his hands but was carrying his wallet -- as he turned to face the officer, he was shot.

McEachern told the media that investigators later found spice, or synthetic marijuana, in Davidson's vehicle. A weapon was not found on Davidson or in his vehicle.

Davidson's father says his son was only holding his wallet. Davidson's family is now suing the city of Opelika and Officer Hancock.

After the shooting, the Opelika Police Chief John McEachern told the media all investigative reports, audio and video tapes would be released once they get the files back from the Alabama Bureau of Investigation. However, he announced Friday that he will not release the video because of the potential lawsuit.

"The ABI report was delivered to the Opelika Police Department August 1st, 2014 and received by the Chief of Police August 4th," said McEachern in a statement. "The City's attorneys have advised it is privileged pursuant to state law. Based on that and the potential impact the release of the ABI report and video could have on litigation, I have been instructed not to release either."

In May, a Lee County grand jury decided that Officer Hancock should not face charges for the shooting.

The lawyer for Davidson's family could not be reached for comment on Tuesday.

Related Stories:

>>>March 11, 2014: Family of shooting victim wants answers after Opelika officer-involved shooting

>>>March 14, 2014: Opelika Police Chief: Officer followed policy in airman shooting

>>>May 13, 2014: Opelika officer will not face charges for shooting airman

David Hurst

David Hurst, a graduate of the Univ. of Georgia, is News 3's nightside reporter.
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