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Bystanders injured in LoDo shooting upset by what body camera video shows

They say the newly-released video gives a more complete picture of what happened.

DENVER — Several people who were hit by bullets fired by Denver police officers last month in LoDo think the department hasn't been truthful. They say the newly-released body camera video of the incident outside Larimer Beer Hall gives a more complete picture of what happened.

Yekalo Weldehiwet, Bailey Alexander and Willis Small IV are all recovering from gunshot wounds.

Weldehiwet said he was shot in the back of his bicep and the bullet shattered his humerus bone. He had surgery to reset the bone in his arm. Alexander said she was shot in her upper back. The bullet went through her arm. She didn't need surgery, but she still has shrapnel lodged in her shoulder. Small said a bullet hit him in the foot.

"I see certain triggers, like when I see police cars, or a mass crowd triggers me to relive that moment in my head," Weldehiwet said.

The three innocent bystanders believe the department hasn't been transparent about what happened.

Days after the shooting, police shared several still pictures from the officers' body cameras and said officers fired at the suspect, Jordan Waddy, after he pointed a gun at them.

Body camera video released Tuesday shows the seconds after one of those images. The shooting victims said it tells a different story than the account originally shared by police. 

"I see him discard the gun, throw it onto the ground, and put his hands up before any shots were fired," Alexander said.

RELATED: Body camera video released from LoDo police shooting that injured 6 bystanders

Waddy's civil attorney, Tyrone Glover, said he saw something similar. Glover said the body camera video shows his client surrendering. He said Waddy throws a gun down and puts his hands up before officers shoot. 

"He is disarming so he doesn't have a weapon on him," Glover said. "He is throwing it down so he's not pointing it at anybody."

Small said he was shocked when he saw the video for the first time.

"It gives us insight into how they do business," Small said. "They are protected by their shield, their badge. Whatever information they want to release is under their jurisdiction."

DPD says officers saw Waddy shoving and punching another person in the early morning hours of July 17 outside Larimer Beer Hall. Waddy was the "aggressor" in the attack, hit the other man and had a gun, police said. 

Body camera video shows officers walking along Larimer Street. Police say they tried to stop Waddy. The footage shows Waddy walk onto Larimer Street. He takes his hands out of his pockets and puts them in the air as he walks back onto the sidewalk. Waddy walks toward the crowd gathered outside Larimer Beer Hall and away from officers.

In the body camera video, Waddy looks like he's trying to pull something out of his pocket. It happens fast, within a second or two. 

DPD said Waddy then pointed a gun at two officers, who each fired at him. One officer fired four rounds and the other fired twice, DPD said.

Another angle shows an officer pointing his gun toward the crowd on the sidewalk outside Larimer Beer Hall. DPD says that officer fired once.

"Commander Matt Clark has seen the body camera footage the public has seen, yet in his press conference last month he told the public that Jordan Waddy was aiming at officers, but that is not what the video shows," the bystanders' attorney Crist Whitney said.

Whitney believes the officers' actions were not justified. 

A grand jury will decide if they broke the law. 

"Your instincts should tell you not to fire into a crowd, 'cause that is not a reasonable use of force," Whitney said.

RELATED: 2 use of force experts say LoDo police shooting will likely be ruled justified


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