The release of the video Sunday comes amid heightened scrutiny of the use of force by police officers, predominantly against black suspects.
Less than a week after prosecutors in North Charleston, South Carolina, charged an officer there with murder over the shooting death of an unarmed black man, Walter Scott, 50, following a routine traffic stop.
Scott exited the car and ran during that incident.
After the patrolman caught up with him a brief tussle appeared to take place after which Scott ran again. This time the officer, Michael Slager opened fire, shooting the suspect five times — three times in the back, once in the buttocks and once in the ear, Scott's family members told The New York Times.
A bystander with a smartphone caught Scott’s shooting on video, the viewing of which led prosecutors to bring charges against the 33-year-old officer.
The mayor of North Charleston, Keith Summey, said Friday that his office intends to buy body cameras for all its officers. But some community policing activists argue that such technology does not deter officers from using excessive force.
In keeping with outrage expressed over the South Carolina shooting — and earlier incidents that appear to show excessive use of force against suspects — many turned to Twitter to express concern over the deaths of black people at the hands of police officers, using the hashtag #fuckyourbreath.
“How do we respond when police deny the very breath of our people?” posted one Twitter user.
Al Jazeera and The Associated Press