Louisville police release unedited body camera video of Omari Cryer shooting
Note: This story contains graphic videos, as well descriptions of a person being killed. It may not be suitable for all readers.
Officials with the Louisville Metro Police Department released what they say is all of the body camera footage related to the shooting of Omari Cryer by law enforcement last month.
LMPD provided three videos Thursday in response to an open records request by WFPL News. Each video is between 10 and 30 minutes in length and contains body camera footage from three different officers who participated in the joint task force operation alongside the U.S. Marshals Service. None of the videos offers new information about the raid or what led up to the foot pursuit.
According to Louisville police, the task force officers attempted to serve an arrest warrant on 25-year-old Cryer, who was wanted on two felony charges — second-degree assault and first-degree strangulation — related to an alleged domestic violence incident in January. Police tracked Cryer down to an apartment in the Chickasaw neighborhood. Around 8:45 a.m. on May 20, police say they attempted to enter the apartment when Cryer fled into an alleyway at the rear of the building. During the pursuit, police say a deputy U.S. Marshal shot and killed Cryer.
The first video starts at the same point as the edited footage released by LMPD on May 26, which depicted the foot pursuit already in progress. The video shows Cryer jumping over a chain link fence and rolling on the ground in the backyard of a home. In a slowed-down version previously released by LMPD, it is possible to see a firearm in Cryer’s left hand.
Just as the LMPD officer wearing the body camera begins to jump over the fence after Cryer, a second officer shouts twice, “Drop the gun.” The apparent sound of gunfire follows, but the shooter — later identified by LMPD officials as a deputy U.S. Marshal — is not visible in the video. An officer then shouts, “Hands, hands, hands,” and asks Cryer if he is all right as he lies on the ground. All of that happens within the first 10 seconds of the video.
The unedited version of the video released Thursday includes more footage of the minutes after the shooting, when officers tried to render aid to Cryer. In the edited video, the footage ends with officers struggling to find the bullet holes in Cryer’s body. The longer footage released Thursday shows them identifying the wounds and packing gauze into them. Officers begin mouth-to-mouth breathing using a CPR mask and chest compressions on Cryer about five minutes after the shooting. The video shows ambulance and fire crews arriving about two and a half minutes later. According to LMPD officials, Cryer died before Emergency Medical Services arrived.
The video ends with the officer wearing the camera going back to a truck parked nearby and retrieving a cell phone to call their supervisor.
No part of the other two videos was previously released. They show the perspective of two other officers involved in the raid who were sitting in their trucks outside of the apartment when they heard over the radio that Cryer fled.
In the second video, someone can be heard saying “I’m moving” over the radio before an LMPD officer jumps out of their vehicle. They run down the street, between two houses and into the alleyway right as shots can be heard. Fingers placed over the body-worn camera obscure much of the view.
Roughly 10 minutes into the second video, the officer is heard describing what they saw: “He saw us jump out on the front. He took off running, started pulling on his waistband. I can see him jump the fence, it looked like it was still in his hand.”
The officer is also heard a few minutes later telling a different officer that Cryer initially came out onto the front porch and spotted police before running. At least a half dozen officers can be seen over the remaining six minutes of footage trying to block off the alley way and the backyard where Cryer laid. There was no discussion of “an altercation,” which LMPD mentioned in its initial press release following the shooting.
The third and final video, about 30 minutes in length, also depicts officers rendering aid to Cryer after the shooting. There is no view of the shooting itself.
In the three pieces of footage, the faces of U.S. Marshals officers are blurred and audio with the names of witnesses, phone numbers and residential addresses is redacted, in compliance with state and federal law.
LMPD’s Public Integrity Unit is investigating the incident at the request of the U.S. Marshals. That unit typically handles criminal investigations into officers who shoot someone while on duty.