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