ASHEVILLE, N.C. (AP) — A police department in western North Carolina began a pilot program for using body cameras in subsidized housing just days after a black man was shot and killed by a white officer after a chase, the chief said Thursday
The Asheville Citizen-Times reports (http://avlne.ws/29pFsQo) that Chief Tammy Hooper said the cameras were purchased in March. But a high volume of orders from law enforcement agencies around the country delayed the arrival, she said at a meeting of the community's Citizens Police Advisory Committee.
"I assure you that I personally wish that we had already had them issued prior to this or any other serious incidents that have occurred," she told the group.
Officers began using the cameras on July 4, three days after 35-year-old Jai Williams was shot and killed following a police chase from one subsidized housing community to another. Authorities identified the officer as Sgt. Tyler Radford. He was placed on paid administrative leave during a review by the State Bureau of Investigation.
Authorities have said Williams was armed with an AR-15 rifle and posed a threat to officers.
At a news conference Wednesday outside the Buncombe County courthouse, Williams' mother described her son's death as "an unnecessary, unjustified shooting."
"My son was not a man of violence," Najiyyah Avery said, reading from a statement. "He was a hard-working American who took care of his children."
The committee Hooper spoke to serves as a liaison between police and the community. It includes representatives from the Asheville city council, a local housing authority, police and the public. The police chief is a nonvoting member.