The full police body worn camera videos of the incident that resulted in the fatal shooting of Joseph Lopez on Nov. 19, 2021 were released by the Greensboro Police Department (GPD) on Wednesday, June 8.
The GPD had filed a petition in North Carolina Superior Court requesting approval to release all 10 police body worn camera videos, and on Tuesday, June 7 North Carolina Superior Court Judge William Wood granted that request.
On Monday, June 6, a grand jury issued an indictment against Greensboro Police Officer M.E. Hamilton for manslaughter. Hamilton was then fired by the GPD and turned himself in.
The court order allowed the GPD to release the police body worn camera videos of all 10 police officers who were at the scene when Hamilton fired one shot fatally wounding Lopez who was barricaded in a storage shed behind the residence at 3504 Cloverdale Dr.
The compilation video prepared by the GPD includes the chronological order of events that led to the shooting which states that on Nov. 15, 2021, Lopez had fled the scene after the vehicle he was in was stopped by the Guilford County Sheriff’s Department. The Sheriff’s Department then requested the GPD to check 3504 Cloverdale Dr. for Lopez. When searching the residence Lopez was found “hiding under a blanket in a bedroom closet, brandishing a shotgun.”
Lopez refused to leave the closet unarmed and “subsequently barricaded himself inside the bedroom.”
The report states, “After several hours of negotiations, Mr. Lopez was eventually placed under arrest and charged with the Possession of a Firearm by a Felon and Resist, Delay, and Obstruct a Law Enforcement Officer. Mr. Lopez was issued a $20,000 unsecured bond by the Guilford County Magistrate.”
On the night of Nov. 19, GPD officers were responding to a several calls from a resident of 3504 Cloverdale Dr. who reported that Lopez had attempted to gain entry into the house.
The police officers who responded discovered Lopez inside a storage shed behind the residence.
The video shows Hamilton repeatedly ordering Lopez to come out of the shed and when Lopez refuses Hamilton first sends in his police dog and then enters the shed himself and fires one shot that fatally wounded Lopez. After firing the shot Hamilton can be heard on the video saying, “I saw something in his hand. I saw something in his hand.”
The only light available is from the police officers flashlights and it is extremely difficult to see what is taking place in the videos.
The 10 police body worn camera videos of the incident and the compilation video prepared by the GPD can be viewed here: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLUimanJqEm8F-hvpPYMgM_d7u4-zGLpnv
Mandate Mayor and council should increase spending on flashlights for first responders. So tragic our peace officers are trained to shoot to kill. This man obviously had some struggles but was unarmed and had no where to run surrounded by at least 10 officers at the time of his execution. The seven month delay in charges in unacceptable and I hope the father gets recompense and some closure on his sons death at the hands of a government trained and sanctioned agent. Unfortunately this type of escalation and execution of unarmed folks by Greensboro police under Mandate Mayors regime is sadly all to frequent, complete with cover ups and donations to city officials by the organizations that defend these accused police force murderers.
Struggles…..he was a felon, a felon who carried a gun. Just a few weeks prior they found him in a closet with a shotgun. How did they know he was unarmed at the time he was shot ? You should consider running for city council your ability to second guess and shoulda / coulda the police makes you the perfect candidate based on the history of the council. Or better yet, leave a contact number and they can call you to come and get the next known gun-carrying felon out of a dark shed. Looking backward at an event such as this is easy as you well demonstrate….stepping into that dark shed is on another level.
Alex, you may be better suited to live in Russia,China or North Korea. A whiny liberal like yourself doesn’t deserve the freedoms the US provides for us law abiding citizens. Do us a favor and send a text when you’re gone. A sincere patriot.
Right, like the freedom to not be shot in the face by cop when unarmed.
A week before he was arrested with a shotgun refusing to come out of a closet already convicted felon out on low bond by a liberal democrat this time he was in a dark shed refusing repeatedly to obey Police commands raised his hand with a dark object in it hell I would have shot too probably more than once. I’d want to go home to my family Get over yourself you liberal ass
Right Chris. In China they don’t shoot you they just run over you with a tank in the middle of the street
The judge’s release of this video before the trial begins, politicians and news media commenting on the video before the trial begins, and citizens’ giving their opinions on the video before the trial begins, ensure that Officer Hamilton and Mr. Lopez’s family won’t have a fair trial. People who will be part of the jury pool will already have had their opinions tainted by the things they’ve seen and heard before they’re even selected which is why our state law doesn’t allow for these videos to be released. It’s a shame this was done.
It doesn’t matter what I think, what people on the City Council think, or what the media think. At this point, we know that the Grand Jury felt there wasn’t a clear case for or against the officer so they decided to let the case go to trial. Now a jury will have the evidence information presented to them and have to make a decision.
Unlike Alex, above, I don’t believe the majority of officers in the GPD are paid executioners/murders for the city. Perhaps Alex would like to become a police officer or help as a citizen liaison to the department to improve the things he feels are wrong with it so they do their job the way he feels is more appropriate. A ride with them on several shifts may help also so he could understand why they are trained the way they are may also be eye-opening for him.
All good points Deborah
Travesty that this officer is being charged. Greensboro residents wonder why crime is out of control and nobody answers when they call for help. Glad I live elsewhere
With what part.