Jason Walker case: 911 call released after off-duty North Carolina sheriff's deputy fatally shoots Black man – USA TODAY

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FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. — Following days of protests after an off-duty sheriff’s deputy fatally shot a Black man in North Carolina last weekend, the city’s council has asked the U.S. Department of Justice to become involved in the investigation.
Jason Walker, 37, was shot in front of his home by an off-duty Cumberland County sheriff’s deputy on Saturday afternoon. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
As of Sunday, the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation is the only agency handling the investigation into Walker’s, according to Fayetteville Police Chief Gina Hawkins. The Fayetteville City Council voted unanimously in favor of seeking federal assistance during its first regular session meeting of the year on Monday night.
Fayetteville police said Monday that a preliminary investigation determined Walker “ran into traffic and jumped on a moving vehicle.” Walker was pronounced dead at the scene.
A released 911 call from Deputy Jeffrey Hash, who shot Walker, detailed the immediate moments following the shooting. “I just had a male jump on my vehicle and broke my windshield. I just shot him. I am a deputy sheriff,” Hash said.
When the dispatcher asked when the shooting happened, Hash replied that it had just happened and “there’s tons of cars and people gathering around.”
Hash did not give his name during the nearly-four minute phone call. On Monday, he was placed on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of an internal investigation, Sheriff Ennis Wright announced.
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Parrish Daughtry, the attorney representing Hash, said Tuesday she couldn’t discuss the specifics of the case, but that her client was upset about the shooting.
“Lt. Hash is devastated for Mr. Walker’s family, his own family, the greater community and devastated by these events,” Daughtry said. ”Beyond that, I’m really prohibited from discussing the facts.”
Ben Crump, the civil rights attorney who represented the family of George Floyd and now represents the Walker family, issued a statement Tuesday.
“We have reason to believe that this was a case of ‘shoot first, ask later,’ a philosophy seen all too often within law enforcement,” Crump said. “We look to the North Carolina SBI for a swift and transparent investigation so that we can get justice for Jason and his loved ones.”
Protesters staged demonstrations in Fayetteville, North Carolina, on Sunday and Monday, disputing the police department’s account of events. Some protesters called for the resignation of Hawkins, who is currently being investigated for alleged ethics violations.
“Chief, because your men failed to arrest this man on site, he got to sit at his house and watch Sunday night football,” local activist Myah Warren said. “I’m letting you know right here, right now, your time is up, you gotta go, so go ahead and get ready.”
During the call, which was released Tuesday, Hash directed his attention away from the 911 operator after she asked what kind of vehicle the victim was in. He yelled to someone at the scene, “I’m the deputy sheriff. He jumped on my vehicle and I just had to shoot him.”
Hash told the operator that he was driving his Ford F-150 when the victim “came flying across Bingham Drive, running, and I stopped so I wouldn’t hit him and he jumped on my car and started screaming.”
According to Hash, Walker pulled off the windshield wipers and began beating the windshield, breaking it, The deputy said his wife and daughter were in the truck with him. The operator then asked Hash if Walker had any weapons on him and he responded, “I don’t know.” He repeated that the victim took the windshield wipers off the truck. 
Asked if he knew where Walker had been shot, he said he saw blood on the man’s side, then asked the trauma nurse if she had seen any wounds. Her response was inaudible. Someone else asked Hash where he had shot Walker and he emphatically answered, “I don’t know.”
“Where is the entry point?” two voices were heard to ask Hash, to which he responded, “I do not know,” reiterating that Walker jumped on his car. 
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The operator then told Hash not to engage with those approaching, and he responded that the crowd gathered around him “is real hostile right now.” Again, the operator told Hash not to engage with the crowd. With sirens sounding in the background, police officers arrived on the scene and Hash ended the conversation with the operator.
During the city council meeting, Hawkins said she was in communication with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the agency is completing an assessment of the case before they can get involved.
The FBI is determining whether Walker’s civil rights were violated, according to Hawkins. The State Bureau of Investigation will only work on the criminal investigation of the case.
“Only the FBI can determine or not if they can take it on but they are collecting statements and evidence that’s already been provided to them,” Hawkins said.
According to a statement from the FBI, they are in contact with local and state authorities. 
Contributing: F.T. Norton, The Fayetteville Observer; The Associated Press


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