The limited video and audio footage from an officer-involved shooting last month that Baton Rouge Police released Wednesday reveals little new information about the early August encounter, but it does seem to support that only one gunshot was fired.
The only footage police have that captured any part of the Aug. 7 traffic stop-turned-shooting came from the cop car's rear camera, which recorded only audio because the camera was facing down, and from a neighbor's surveillance video, which caught no audio, police officials said. The officer's body camera and front dash camera were turned off.
One gunshot can be heard about two minutes into the more than 25-minute audio recording, which later also captures how the officer initially reports the encounter through police radio. Officer Yuseff Hamadeh tells fellow officers the suspect kept running and that he was armed.
A neighbor's surveillance video shared with police officials, which shows the initial traffic stop. Can't see video below? Click here.
The video footage from the neighbor shows the initial traffic stop and then at least one person running from the vehicle.
Both recordings released Wednesday by the Baton Rouge Police Department captured only small portions of the Aug. 7 traffic stop, which escalated until Hamadeh fired his weapon at the fleeing driver, 21-year-old Raheem Howard. Hamadeh conducted the traffic stop over a missing license plate, but once the car stopped, Howard ran from his car. Initial police reports said Hamadeh fired his weapon only after Howard first shot at him; however, officials said Tuesday there is not sufficient evidence to support that claim against Howard.
No one was injured in the shooting.
On this there's agreement: Raheem Howard fled from the traffic stop conducted by Baton Rouge police officer Yuseff Hamadeh on Aug. 7 about 6:3…
"The audio and video released confirms what our client and brave members of the community have maintained to be the truth: That there was only one shot fired," Howard's attorney, Ronald Haley Jr., said in a statement Wednesday. "And given that officer Hamadeh admitted to firing his weapon, the gunfire had to come from him."
Baton Rouge Deputy Police Chief Jonny Dunnam said Wednesday the footage is the entirety of the video and audio evidence police have from the incident, but noted that it only gives a glimpse of the encounter. He said said "other investigative resources" are being used as they continue their probe.
A criminal investigation into the incident and administrative investigation into the officer's actions remain ongoing.
The first nine minutes of the audio footage captured on officer Yuseff Hamadeh's vehicle's rear camera. The camera caught no video because it was facing down, police said. Can't see video below? Click here.
Howard was initially arrested on counts of attempted first-degree murder and illegal use of a weapon, but East Baton Rouge District Attorney Hillar Moore III filed last week to no longer detain Howard on those accusations. Howard, however, remains in Parish Prison on probation violations from two prior, unrelated misdemeanor cases.
Moore said Tuesday that after reviewing evidence, including the two recordings, he would not proceed with the case against Howard. Moore said there was not sufficient evidence to prove that any other gun — beyond the officer's — was ever fired. But the district attorney was clear that further evidence could change what happens to this case in the future.
A man accused of shooting at a cop following a traffic stop last month won’t be prosecuted for the attempted murder of a police officer becaus…
Upon his arrest, Howard admitted to fleeing the traffic stop, but was adamant he never had a gun. Neighbors and witnesses also said they heard only one shot. Initial police accounts of the incident say both men fired once.
The police department released this video and audio evidence four weeks after the shooting, along with dash cam video of a recent but unrelated fatal crash involving another officer. Department officials had previously denied a public records request for footage of the shooting, despite a new policy aimed at increasing transparency that allows the police chief to release footage within 12 days of a critical incident. The release of such footage is under the discretion of the chief.
Dunnam said all police units' rear and front dash cameras turn on automatically once lights are activated. Upon activation, the recording picks up the prior 30 seconds, but without sound. Dunnam said police are still investigating why Hamadeh's front dash camera did not turn on during the incident.
In the beginning of the 26 minutes of footage from the rear camera of Hamadeh's vehicle, sirens and quiet police radio are heard in the background. About 40 seconds after Hamadeh's lights were activated, the noise increases, a screeching sound is followed by a loud bang and the the video rattles — consistent with the narrative that Hamadeh stopped his car to conduct the traffic stop, then got out of his vehicle.
Then for the next 20 seconds there is little noise, until over the radio it sounds like Hamadeh calls for backup, "2024 17th, come on back here." The house where Howard entered while fleeing, then Hamadeh followed, is 2024 15th St., one street over from North 16th Street, where the traffic stop began.
Soon after, the audio captures more calls on the radio, "Where is he?" and then seconds later, "Where you at, bro?"
Two seconds later there's a loud clap, which seems to be the gunshot Hamadeh fired. Right after, the audio recorded more radio chatter from officers: "Yea, Yuseff?" and then moments later: "Yuseff?" Someone answers over the radio that Hamadeh's car is on (North) 16th Street, but it seems they cannot locate him.
Police and witnesses reported the shooting occurred a street over on North 15th Street in the back of a house where Howard first ran.
But then, about two minutes after Hamadeh first activated his lights for the traffic stop, Hamadeh seems to answer the other officers: "F***!," he says, breathing heavily. Another officer answers: "I heard you calling me, where you at?"
Hamadeh seems to answer again: "North 16th. … I think he ran to the back to the house. … Blue shirt, shorts … suspect is armed," can be heard on the audio.
Baton Rouge police captured the man who fired a gun at an officer earlier last week and arrested him on attempted first-degree murder, police …
Then noise continues to go in and out, mostly catching the hip hop music playing in Hamadeh's vehicle. About 45 seconds later, someone says on the radio that shots were fired. Later someone on the dispatching system says an "officer was shot at" and "they exchanged fire." About 9 minutes later, the radio traffic falls off.
The other video released by BRPD was captured on a neighbor's security camera and shows the beginning of the traffic stop, but has no audio. A black car drives down the street, followed closely by a white car and they stop a few houses down. Soon after, the video shows someone running across the street, into a yard out of view.
About 30 seconds later, two more white cars come down the street and stop near the traffic stop. Little else happens on that recording, as the shooting occurred off of North 15th Street. The surveillance camera is set up on North 16th Street.
Dunnam declined to comment on or confirm what was recorded in either the audio or video clips.
Haley, Howard's attorney, said while he is glad to see the footage released by the police department, he still has many questions.
A Baton Rouge police officer who shot at a man he had pulled over for a traffic violation Aug. 7 needs to appear in court and explain his acti…
"Why didn’t the audio pick up the initial interaction between Mr. Howard and officer Hamadeh?" Haley wrote in a statement. "Did he give any verbal commands or was this just chase and shoot? … What is troubling is that officer Hamadeh put our client’s life in further harm after shooting at him by misrepresenting to the other officers while they were hunting for him that he was armed when in fact he was not."
State Rep. Ted James, D-Baton Rouge, called the progress in the case a move in the right direction, but said the bigger issue is how Hamadeh has been treated, and will be treated, moving forward.
Hamadeh fatally shot another man last year also after a traffic stop. In June 2017, Hamadeh killed Jordan Frazier after police said Frazier pointed a weapon at officers.
“I’m worried about last year with the Jordan Frazier case, was he (Hamadeh) telling the truth last year?” James said. "Mr. Howard lived to tell us he's innocent, Mr. Frazier didn’t get to tell his side. … I just think there’s a lot more we need to see before we can say we’re turning the page."