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Columbus Police Release Body Cam Footage From Franklinton Shooting

Columbus Police body camera footage
Footage released by police appears to show Kareem Jones reaching for his waistband immediately before two officers open fire.

Columbus Police on Thursday released video of the department’s first officer-involved shooting to be captured by police body cameras.

The incident happened last Friday in Franklinton when police say Kareem Ali Nadir Jones, 30, was spotted “walking between cars with erratic behavior” behind a home on Schultz Avenue.

Police say that a woman living there told detectives that kids were throwing rocks at her car. The woman went next door to her sister's duplex, and Jones, her sister's boyfriend, went walking around the neighborhood looking for the kids.

Jones then headed back to the duplex, and that's when officers came in contact with him in a backyard.

Police video shows two officers, since identified as Samuel James and Marc Johnson, getting out of a cruiser and approaching Jones with guns drawn. Jones’ hands were initially in the air. At this point, the camera's microphone hadn't been turned on yet.

As police get closer to Jones, he turns slightly while appearing to reach for the back of his waistband, where there is a visible bulge. That's when police fired.


After the shooting the audio is turned on. One officer says, “There’s the gun over there." Subsequent video footage shows a black object on the ground next to a fence.

Because the audio is turned off, there's no definitive way to tell why Jones turned or reached for his waistband.

Several minutes after the shooting, as one officer's body camera is still recording, one of the officers involved is heard explaining to another officer who just arrived to the scene: “We roll up, we’re talking to him, and I see a bulge in his waistband under his shirt and I’m like, ‘That has to be a phone.’”

The officer goes on to say “(Another officer) draws down on him, (and) he pulls his f**king gun on us.”

Jones died Monday from his injuries.

Upon release of the footage, police declined comment, citing an ongoing investigation.

Jason Pappas, president of the local Fraternal Order of Police, says officers only shot because they knew Jones had a gun.

Mayor Andrew Ginther released a statement calling body cameras an "important tool that will help protect officers, the public and the public's trust."

Jones' family was scheduled to talk to the media on Thursday.