LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – After the Little Rock Police Department released dashcam footage from the night Roy Lee Richards was fatally shot, attorneys for Richards’ family say the content of the video “confirms” their account of the shooting.
In a press release, attorneys for the family alleged that the police department “violated” the Arkansas Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) by “withholding” all dashcam recordings from the night of the shooting. Richards was shot by police in October 2016 after police said he was chasing a man with a long gun pointed at the man’s back.
“The Richards family requested the entire criminal file, but the file the family received contained no video,” said the attorneys.
Arkansas’s FOIA law states that any record that is “recorded sounds, films, tapes, electronic or computer-based information, or data compilations” is considered public records and subject to the law. Attorneys for the family argue that the City of Little Rock “withheld” all video until June 7 even after multiple requests.
The attorneys also said in the press release that the dashcam videos proved that the “officers approached with no police lights and without identifying themselves.”
“It proves that Officer Hutchins observed a physical altercation and did nothing to stop it, and did not announce his presence,” the attorneys stated. “It proves that Officer Hutchins gave no warning before he fired his assault weapon multiple times at Mr. Richards.”
The attorneys also state that Chief Kenton Buckner and the city should think “seriously about the corrosive precedence they create” by withholding city resources and defending “clearly improper shootings like the one that took the life or Roy Richards.”
“The City needs to choose its battles wisely, and apologize to the Richards family,” the attorneys said.
Officer Dennis Hutchins was cleared of any charges related to the shooting back in March by Pulaski County Prosecuting Attorney Larry Jegley.