“I begged them not to do that to him,” said Arvin Moore, Charlie’s mother.
The family of a man talking after being shot and killed by a law enforcement officer in Columbia, South Carolina.
Irwin D. Murray Charlie, 34, whose family said he had various mental illnesses, was shot dead by a sheriff’s deputy after police responded to a domestic violence call.
“The officer was very aware of my son’s condition,” Connie Craig, Moore Charlie’s mother, told reporters at a news conference. “They went home many, many times.”
While Moore’s Charlie’s family said he had an episode of mental health, the Richland County Sheriff’s Department said the 911 call did not identify Moore Charlie as a person with a mental health crisis.
“I tried to tell them I had been treating him for a long time, and I could probably stop him,” Craig said. “They said, ‘Go back.’ I begged them. I begged them not to do it. I could do no more, and I fell to the ground, but my son did not deserve it. He did not deserve it.” “
The sheriff’s department released some excerpts from a dash cam video in an attempt to be “completely transparent with the community” on Tuesday and “clarified the misrepresentation that it was a mental health call for service.”
In the released clip, the deputy who shot Moore Charlie is seen shouting at him more than once, “Drop the weapon,” when Moore Charlie went to the officers holding a sharp wooden object. A second officer tried to use a stun gun on Murray Charlie, but according to Richland County Coroner Naida Rutherford, it was ineffective.
“It didn’t stick to the skin, and so it didn’t stop him as you expected,” Rutherford told reporters at a news conference Sunday.
After deploying the stun gun, officers said Murray charged Charlie at them and an officer shot him.
The department defended the incident at a press conference.
“We can’t expect these deputies to leave and be killed,” Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott told reporters. “They have to defend themselves.”
Although some body cam videos have been released, Moore’s Charlie’s family has called on the department to release the video in its entirety.
“We’re just calling for transparency and action, not just in South Carolina, but across the country to address this tragic and preventable mental health death,” Brendan Green, who represents Moore Charlie’s family, told reporters.
Lott said he believed the officers’ actions were fair, “it’s sad all around,” he said.
“Mental health is a problem in our community,” the sheriff said. “We don’t have to ignore it. When someone cries out for help, they need help.”