Video shows events surrounding shooting

By alligator.org
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By alligator.org

4/21/2010 1:16:10 PM -

CAROLYN TILLO, Alligator Staff Writer
Kofi Adu-Brempong's story has been told through the shouts of protesters and the text of police reports.

Six students heard and saw a different side of the story at a Gainesville house Monday night as they watched a video taken by Adu-Brempong's neighbor on the night of the March 2 shooting.

The video, which is about 10 minutes long, includes the sounds of the beanbag rounds and gunshots fired at Adu-Brempong and shows the five police officers breaking into Adu-Brempong's apartment.

The neighbor who created the film, who wishes to remain anonymous, began filming upon hearing police say they were going to gas Adu-Brempong's apartment.

The video footage shows Professor Peter Waylen, Adu-Brempong's adviser, trying to talk with Adu-Brempong through a window.

It also shows the officers trying to converse with Adu-Brempong through the window and asking him to open the door. Waylen is seen and heard asking the officers for more time.

An officer breaks down Adu-Brempong's door while three officers with guns pose outside the door. The officers enter Adu-Brempong's apartment, and Adu-Brempong says, "I'm OK."

The sounds of three beanbag rounds and two assault rifles follow. About 52 seconds elapses between the time the first officer enters and the time the last shot was fired. All five shots were fired in five seconds.

Viewers cannot see Adu-Brempong being shot, but they do see the officers entering with guns and hear the shots fired.

"I hope that he's not dead," the neighbor said in the silence following the firing of the shots.

Officer Keith Smith ran from the apartment following the shots. Other officers called him back.

Dave Schneider, an organizer of the shooting protests who was present at the screening, saw the video for the first time Monday.

“If you can imagine the most disturbing movie you've ever seen, it's probably like on that level,” Schneider said.

He said all six students present at Monday's gathering worked to edit the video and add explanatory captions so it could be posted online.

“Our objective is that everyone knows this story by the end of the week or by the end of the month or whatever,” Schneider said.

Adu-Brempong, a geography Ph.D. candidate from Ghana, was shot by UPD Officer Keith Smith in his Corry Village apartment.

Florida Department of Law Enforcement spokesman Mike Morrison couldn't say whether the video had much of an impact on the final report, which was completed Thursday but not released.

UF spokeswoman Janine Sikes noted the tragic nature of the incident at Corry Village but added that conclusions about the shooting cannot be drawn without a full set of facts.

The State Attorney still needs to analyze the case and make decisions about the actions of the officers involved and the actions of Adu-Brempong, Sikes wrote in an e-mail.

"Our thoughts and concerns continue to be with everyone affected including Kofi Adu-Brempong, the residents of Corry Village and the police officers," Sikes wrote.

Alligator reporters viewed the video Monday evening. Alligator staff writer Katherine Bein contributed.

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