FAYETTEVILLE, NC (WNCN) — A Fayetteville family shares an emotional reaction after dash cam video was released this week in a police involved shooting.
Lawrence Graham, 20, who died months later from complications from the shooting, was shot by former Fayetteville Police Officer Denton Little in May of 2013.
RELATED VIDEO: Click here to watch the full police dash cam video
Little was a passenger inside a vehicle that was pulled over for a window tint violation. Although Chief Medlock said Friday they wanted to be transparent about this case, Graham family attorneys say the city filed motions to seal the video.
On Friday, a federal judge denied that motion. The family says it’s best the video is made public.
For Tracie Knight, the video is just too hard to bear. It shows her son, Lawrence Graham exiting a vehicle and running away from police with a gun in his hand. Police say former officer Denton Little then shot Graham two times.
“Officer Little observed the gun in the air, he was five feet behind when it was thrown, it was a clear bright day, the gun was going through the air, clearing a four foot fence,” said Coy Brewer, Graham Family Attorney.
Family attorneys say when Graham exited the car, he threw the gun over a fence.
Attorneys say Graham had no criminal record and didn’t want to be charged if police found the gun.
The city maintains Officer Little never saw the gun leave Graham’s hand and Little feared for his life.
Knight says it’s even more devastating that she was barred from visiting her son in the hospital for more than a week after he was shot.
“Chief Medlock decided to have him placed under arrest, interrogate him and keep the family away from him,” attorney Allen Rogers said.
According to an autopsy report, Graham died months later after complications from the shooting.
As the family’s wrongful death suit is pending, they’re holding onto special memories including Graham’s love for dancing, family and food.
“He had a long future now it’s gone. Mr. Little can sit with his family every night, every day, holidays, birthdays,” Knight said.
“Even though if a police pull me over to this day, my heart is beating because I don’t know what he’d do to me,” said Tyshawn Graham, Lawrence’s brother.
Little was never charged in this case. On Friday, Chief Medlock said Little is no longer with the department.
Saturday, WNCN reached out to Chief Medlock for a response to the family’s claims.
A police spokesperson said “there would be no additional comments as the litigation is still pending.”
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