FAIRFAX, Va. (DC News Now) — The attorney representing the family of a man who was shot and killed by two Fairfax County police officers has said the body-worn camera video captured that night shows “an execution.”
One month after Timothy Johnson was shot and killed by the two veteran officers, Wesley Shifflett and James Sadler, his family, and the family attorney were shown the body-worn camera video. They were invited to the Fairfax County Police Department headquarters, where they were shown the roughly eight-minute video.
“This was an execution by Fairfax County police officers,” said Attorney Carl Crews.
After they left the building, Johnson’s mother, Melissa Johnson, and Crews spoke to the news media. Crews shared a message for Fairfax County’s top prosecutor, Commonwealth’s Attorney Steve Descano.
“Justice delayed is justice denied,” he said. “This officer should not have his freedom at this point.”
In a statement to DC News Now, Descano wrote, “…It is my responsibility to proceed with a comprehensive and independent investigation of this incident, and that’s what I’ve been doing since the night of February 22nd. I expect to make a decision on how best to proceed in the coming weeks.”
He also confirmed he has seen the body-worn camera footage.
On February 22, the two officers chased Johnson to a small wooded area near Tysons Corner Center after police say he had stolen a pair of designer sunglasses. It was in that wooded area that both officers fired their weapons, and Johnson was struck once in the chest.
Late that evening, Chief Kevin Davis said he did “not know if our suspect was armed at this time,” but after a police search the following day, police said they did not recover a weapon.
Melissa Johnson also criticized the police for their initial press conference, in which they shared brief details of her son’s background.
“Officer Sadler and Shifflett did not know his name, did not know his age, did not know where he went to school did not know the names of his children, or anything about his past personal or judicial history,” she said. “The only thing they knew was that he was black and male and had allegedly triggered an alarm from a store for some sunglasses.”
Fairfax County is planning to release the body-worn camera footage to the public on Thursday at 1 p.m. in a press conference with Davis.
“We’re still waiting for answers to questions,” said Johnson. “It just does not make any sense at all.”