North Carolina Man Shot in Torso and Arm in Struggle With Police Officer

North Carolina – A Winston-Salem man fatally shot by a police officer in March had gunshot wounds to his torso and one of his arms, according to his death certificate.

Officer Dalton McGuire of the Winston-Salem Police Department shot Edward Van McCrae, 60, during a traffic stop on March 30 on Bowen Boulevard.

The death certificate was filed for McCrae’s estate in Forsyth Superior Court. His daughter, Kimneika Shantal Bryant, is listed as the executor of the estate, which was established in the court system on May 7.

On the death certificate, gunshot wounds to torso and arm are listed as the immediate cause of McCrae’s death. The death certificate does not offer any other details, including whether McCrae was shot in the right or left arm or how many times he was shot. The autopsy report, which would have more details, has not yet been publicly released. Dr. Jerri McLemore, a Forsyth County medical examiner, signed the death certificate.

The manner of death is listed as homicide. Medical examiners have to list the cause of death as a homicide if it is determined the person didn’t die from natural causes or by suicide or an accident. Listing the death as a homicide doesn’t always mean that criminal charges will be filed.

According to the death certificate, McCrae was injured at 10:34 p.m. March 30 and died 12 minutes later, at 10:46 p.m.

Winston-Salem police have said that the car McCrae was riding in was stopped at the intersection of Bowen Boulevard and Douglas Hill Drive. Scott Williams, special agent in charge with the State Bureau of Investigation, has declined to say why McGuire pulled the car over. Radio traffic between McGuire and a dispatcher indicates that the stop was for a license check.

McCrae was in the back seat. A woman was driving and a second man was in the front passenger seat, Williams said. Neither he nor Winston-Salem police have released their names. The Winston-Salem Journal has tried unsuccessfully to contact both of those people.

Williams said the events happened in a matter of minutes.

Police have said that McCrae was acting suspiciously and trying to reach toward concealed areas of the car. McGuire told McCrae several times to stop, according to police, who also said McCrae ignored McGuire’s orders.

McGuire immediately requested backup and ordered McCrae out of the car, police said. It’s not clear if McCrae refused to exit. Williams has said McGuire opened the car door and pulled McCrae out. The two men struggled, with McCrae refusing orders to stop reaching, Williams said. He said McGuire shot McCrae after seeing a handgun.

Williams and Winston-Salem police have declined to say how many times McCrae was shot.

A gun that did not belong to McGuire was seized outside of the car. Williams has declined to say where the gun was found.

The SBI is investigating the circumstances of the shooting. The Winston-Salem Police Department is conducting an internal investigation to determine if McGuire violated any departmental policy or procedure. McGuire is on administrative duty, which is routine in officer-involved shootings.

Williams said last week that he is awaiting the final autopsy report, toxicology results and another lab report. He said he expects to turn over the SBI’s investigative report within the next week or so to the Forsyth County District Attorney’s Office. Forsyth County District Attorney Jim O’Neill will review the report and determine whether McGuire used excessive force in the shooting.

People and organizations such as Black Lives Matter Winston-Salem have protested the shooting and demanded the release of police body-camera footage that shows McCrae’s death.

The Winston-Salem Journal filed a petition to have the video from McGuire’s bodycam released. Forsyth County prosecutors opposed the request for several reasons, including that they believe it would be inappropriate to release the video during an active investigation.

Judge Stuart Albright of Forsyth Superior Court denied the Journal’s request on several grounds, including that confidentiality was needed to protect an active criminal investigation.

Bryant, McCrae’s daughter, also asked that the video not be publicly released until family members had a chance to view it.

Attorney John Vermitsky, who represents Bryant, argued that without knowing what was on the footage, the family didn’t know whether it had a possible civil-rights claim against the police department.

On Wednesday, Vermitsky said he expects to see the body-camera footage within the next two weeks.

“The police and the DA have been cooperating in allowing the family and I to view the video,” he said.

The plan is for Vermitsky to watch the video first, then the family will determine which members will watch it, he said.

Vermitsky declined to comment on the death certificate.

“My investigation is still ongoing,” he said, “and talking about what we’ve done in that investigation would not be beneficial in determining if a claim exists. We would ask the community to be patient through the process and respect the family’s privacy.”


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Filming Cops
Filming Cops 5618 posts

Filming Cops was started in 2010 as a conglomerative blogging service documenting police abuse. The aim isn’t to demonize the natural concept of security provision as such, but to highlight specific cases of State-monopolized police brutality that are otherwise ignored by traditional media outlets.

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