By Dan Zimmerman via TTAG
In January, a Fountain Hills Arizona man who claimed loyalty to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, dialed 911 and told the operator he wanted to talk to a police officer so he could “deal with him.” When Sgt. Brandon Wells responded, 18-year-old Ismail Hamed first threw rocks at the officer and then drew a knife.
After continuing to approach the officer and defying the officer’s repeated orders to drop the knife, Wells shot Hamed twice.
The Maricopa County Sheriff’s department declined to release bodycam video of the altercation. After a legal fight waged by local media outlets, the video of the incident was recently released.
The footage [possibly NSFW] shows what happened.
From the Arizona Republic report it seems that Hamed was determined to commit suicide by cop.
Wells points his gun at Hamed and tells him to back off. Hamed pulls out a knife. Wells repeatedly tells Hamed to drop his knife, as Hamed walks toward the deputy. The deputy threatens to shoot Hamed if he doesn’t drop the knife.
“Shoot me,” Hamed tells Wells.
Wells fires twice, injuring Hamed.
Hamed survived the gunshot wounds and is facing some extremely serious charges.
A complaint filed by the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office alleges Hamed “intentionally or knowingly, did provide advice, assistance, direction or management” to the terrorist organization ISIS, which is listed under several formal names, including the Islamic State of Iraq al-Sham.
He is facing one count of terrorism under state law, a Class 2 felony, for that allegation.
Hamed faces a second count of terrorism for his actions on Jan. 7, the night he was shot and wounded by a deputy in Fountain Hills outside the town’s government complex.
Additionally, Hamed is facing a charge of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, which was filed prior to the terrorism charges were filed.
It isn’t clear why the Maricopa County Sheriff and prosecutors were reluctant to release the 911 audio and bodycam footage. From the video, Sgt. Wells appears to have given Hamed every opportunity to drop the knife and allowed him to get uncomfortably close to him before opening fire.
Maricopa County Sheriff Paul Penzone said at a news conference Thursday that his and the prosecutor’s office decided it was best that the records not be released immediately to the public. But he didn’t say what made this case unique from other criminal cases, or what merited sealing them from the public.
In the end, a county judge agreed with the media outlets and order that the audio and video — which are public records — be released.