Exclusive: dash cam video reveals why there is a $495,000 settlement
BATON ROUGE - Members of Metro Council will have to give the final approval to pay $495,000 to settle a wrongful death lawsuit over an officer-involved shooting where a drunken man was shot and killed in 2011.
On March 6th, 2011, Baton Rouge police officer Christopher Magee shot and killed Carlos Harris, 21, in the parking lot of Club Insomnia off Florida Boulevard. Harris was at the bar with a friend, Ryan Dominique, the night he was shot.
Leading up to the incident, police were called to the scene related to Domingue driving recklessly in the parking lot. As events unfolded and he was taken into custody, Magee either told or asked (accounts differ) Harris to move Dominique's car despite witnesses saying Harris told Magee he was drunk.
Harris was shot while moving the car after he smashed into various vehicles in the parking lot, including police cruisers. Magee said at the time he was worried for his safety, and those around him, so he opened fire. Harris was shot dead. Magee also suggested Harris had some sort of weapon.
"He told [Officer Magee] he was drunk...[But Magee] commanded him to move the car," witness Aisha Loliss told WBRZ News 2 after the shooting in 2011.
In a document obtained by the WBRZ News 2 Investigative Unit, council members were sent information about Harris' death and details of the proposed settlement. The paperwork includes a synopsis of the events leading up to the shooting and Harris' toxicology report. The report shows Harris' blood alcohol level was .089 percent. The legal limit is .08.
Council members were also told Magee was instructed by another officer not to shoot because there were too many people around the scene.
The Investigative Unit also obtained the dash cam video from numerous police cars that were on the scene the night of the shooting. More than 50 cameras capture various angles of what happened, including one that shows Harris driving the car into a police unit, pull forward and hit another car, then crash into the police car again.
The car was traveling forward when Magee shot Harris from behind. One of the three shots Magee fired also hit a woman nearby in the wrist.
Harris' family sued Baton Rouge police for negligence because they believe Harris should have never been instructed to get behind the wheel. The family also contests Dominique's car had a defect and difficult to drive.
Most of the footage begins recording as officers are rushing to the scene. But, Magee's dash cam video starts recording a minute after the shooting occurred.
The district attorney's office cleared Magee of any wrongdoing and he remains on the force.
Chief Carl Dabadie would not comment on Harris' death because of pending litigation.
Council members were scheduled to vote on the settlement at Wednesday's meeting, but time ran out. Click HERE to read more about why. It is expected to be added to the August 13th meeting agenda.