Family calls for justice as police pledge to release bodycam footage in fatal shooting of teen girl
Hannah Williams, 17, was known as a happy teen who spent much of her time volunteering, but she was killed by police on a Southern California highway under mysterious circumstances
Fullerton, Calif., police say they will release the bodycam footage from an officer’s shooting of a teen girl last Friday on a freeway in Anaheim.
The revelation was among the first comments that the police agency has made since an officer fatally shot 17-year-old Hannah Williams on July 5 on the 91 Freeway, CBS Los Angeles is reporting.
Police also said that Williams, a lifeguard who volunteered with her parents at health fairs, was in possession of a replica firearm designed to look like a Berretta 92 FS handgun.
The incident took place last Friday night and has been raising questions since. For one, Williams family asked earlier this week in a meeting with reporters why the officer involved in the shooting had yet to be interviewed by investigators.
Police officials initially said Williams was a “suspect” and that they found a “possible handgun” at the shooting scene — that was before the Orange County, Calif., District Attorney’s Office said in a statement on Tuesday that what looked like a Beretta 92 FS handgun was actually a BB gun.
The incident unfolded as the officer involved was driving his K-9 dog to the veterinarian and spotted a car eastbound, speeding, according to earlier reports.
At some point, the two vehicles came in contact with one another and the officer radioed dispatch to say he’d been involved in a shooting, according to the Anaheim Police Department. Williams was taken to a hospital, where she died.
Earlier this week, the teen’s parents and extended family members met with reporters and said they want more action taken in the case, first starting with having the officer suspended without pay. They called on Gov. Gavin Newsom to direct state Attorney General Xavier Becerra to begin an independent investigation.
“Losing Hannah is hard,” the teen’s grandmother, Lynette Campbell, read from a statement from Williams’ father, Benson Williams, who wept nearby. “The circumstances in which we lost her has made it that much harder.”
Attorney S. Lee Merritt is representing Hannah Williams family as they demand further investigation. He said in social media posts that the police have not provided adequate information as to what happened that led to the teen’s shooting death.
After almost a week @FPDPIO has still not explained why their officer shot 17 y/o #HannahWilliams. They haven’t released the name of the officer. They haven’t released the video. Any time police use deadly force the minimal expectation is transparency. We demand it without delay! pic.twitter.com/4C0yZ8eTcl
— S. Lee Merritt, Esq. (@MeritLaw) July 11, 2019