Judge Denies Attorney's Request to Release Video of Tulsa Police Officers Being Shot
A judge has ruled that the body camera footage from an incident in which two Tulsa police officers were shot, one fatally, will not be made public at this time.
Tulsa County District Court Special Judge David Guten in a Monday hearing denied a request from attorney Kevin Adams to release the video. Two weeks ago, Guten approved prosecutors' request to prevent release of the video for at least six months.
Adams, representing David Anthony Ware, the accused murderer, said the video is important because it would show his client was in fear for his life at the time of the shooting.
"He was begging them, ‘Please, stop. Please stop. Help me. Why are you guys doing this to me? Why are you guys doing this to me?’ Sgt. Johnson full-in kicked him like he was kicking in a door," Adams told reporters Monday after the hearing.
Sgt. Craig Johnson died of his injuries; Officer Aurash Zarkeshan is still recovering from his wounds. Both were shot multiple times.
District Attorney Steve Kunzweiler said the ruling was a victory for prosecutors and accused Adams of trying to sway public opinion through the news media.
"He’s going to now join the ranks of Gloria Allred and that whole group of folks who make a living off of getting in front of a camera and trying to litigate their case before the media. That’s not who the district attorney’s office is, and we never will be," Kunzweiler said.
Adams said the prosecution is spreading a "false narrative" and that the video remaining unreleased is actively harmful to his client. He said he is exploring options for appealing, including potentially to the Oklahoma Supreme Court.