LITTLETON, Colo. (KDVR) — Surveillance video shows a new account of what happened before an officer shot and killed a man in Littleton: The officer rammed an SUV into the man on a motorcycle, who then ran away before the officer shot him dead.
The new video, released by police on Wednesday and shown below, conflicts with what the Littleton Police Department initially released in the case, saying they were contacting a “suspicious vehicle” around 1 a.m. near the intersection of South Bannock Street and West Powers Avenue.
“The individual was driving a motorcycle and crashed,” police wrote after the Feb. 2 incident, not mentioning the crucial detail: that the crash was caused by the officer.
In the video, an aerial view of the scene shows a police SUV on one side of the road, with the man on a motorcycle stopped at the far end of the other lane.
After several seconds, the motorcyclist turns on his headlight and slowly starts to drive forward. Then, the driver of the police SUV quickly turns left and crashes into the man, throwing him off the motorcycle. The man runs away out of frame, and the officer gets out of the driver’s seat and chases after him.
Watch the video below.
In the initial release, the department said, “When the officer attempted to contact him, the individual ran and produced a gun. The LPD officer fired at the suspect.”
That man, 41-year-old Stephen Poolson Jr., was soon pronounced dead at a hospital, police said.
Police spokesperson Rick Redmond said later that morning that the shooting happened in the courtyard of a nearby apartment building.
He told FOX31 in an interview that the stop began because of a “suspicious vehicle.” When later asked by FOX31 for more information about the vehicle, he said, “It’s later been established that the vehicle was stolen.”
Officer on paid leave, shooting under investigation
The Littleton Police Department released a statement in response to questions about the conflicting information.
“The information contained in that release, including that the motorcycle had crashed, was very preliminary information, obtained in the early hours of the scene, and was the most accurate information that LPD had at the time,” the statement reads. “This is why LPD has policies and procedures in place that involve investigations, it is always our goal to find the most accurate information possible. Based on these videos it has come to light that the motorcycle did not in fact crash, but yes, in fact, was contacted by a patrol vehicle.”
A separate investigation is underway into the shooting. The department said it plans to release body camera video of the shooting, as state law requires, and any additional audio and video available to “convey as much information as possible to the public.”
The officer in the shooting is on paid administrative leave, per department policy, the department said.