Police say they shot Jordan Waddy after he pointed a gun at them. But the newly released video shares another story, as it shows Waddy tossing his gun and putting his hands up just as officers began firing.
So the Problem Solvers reached out to students who are part of a Denver program aimed at bridging the gap between kids and cops to get their perspective about what happened.
Yamilette Bravo and Guadalupe Murillo are high school students in Denver. They’re both part of the Denver Teen Empowerment Program, which includes the initiative of bridging the gap between police and young people by enhancing communication and understanding between both sides.
They and several other teens have been a part of multiple forums with cops over the summer, which is why they are still trying to wrap their heads around this new video.
“He did put the gun down, he threw it down and he backed away. He was in a surrendering position and yet they still shot,” Bravo said.
“There are so many civilians in that area, you basically shot innocent people. Why couldn’t you think of different ways?” Murillo inquired after watching the video.
Both students say the trust is trying, especially after seeing this video, which has now led to many people wondering what to do in this situation.
Murillo noted: “He did surrender, he did what almost everyone should do and officers still shot him, which is very disturbing for me.”
“I think also punishment. They did shoot innocent people. What’s going to be their punishment? If I were to go out on the street and I had a gun and I shot someone, I know I would have to serve time, I know I would have a punishment,” Bravo explained.
As members of Denver’s “Bridging the Gap: Kids and Cops” project, aiming to enhance communication and understanding between kids and cops, the two students say the trust is still trying.
“I’ve had good and bad experiences with officers, so I really can’t say I can’t trust them,” Murillo said.
“That doesn’t mean that every police officer is killing a minority or being unjust. People need to keep that in mind,” Bravo said.