The Suffolk County District Attorney released video of a March shootout that left a Boston police officer seriously injured.
Boston Police Officer John Moynihan was shot in the face “without provocation” on March 27 after officers attempted to pull over Angelo West in Roxbury.
The surveillance video released on Friday appears to show West get out of his car and fire his .357 Magnum at Moynihan from close range.
After Moynihan was shot, video shows West running from the area. That is when police say other officers shot and killed West.
Suffolk County District Attorney Dan Conley said during a Friday press conference that it is important to release the findings earlier in the investigation to “illuminate the facts,” adding that it does not compromise the integrity of the investigation.
“It is in everyone’s best interest to share that information as soon as possible in order to tamp down speculation and rumors meant to inflame and not to inform,” said Conley.
Conley added that officials tried to delay the release of the video in an attempt to meet with West’s wife, but were not given the opportunity.
West allegedly continued to fire his gun after the initial confrontation, and officers fatally shot him.
Moynihan was initially placed into a medically induced coma. Surgery took place to remove a bullet from his head, but he continues to progress in his recovery.
“He’s doing well. He’s still rehabilitating in a facility. Hopefully he’s going to be released in the next couple days. It’s remarkable the lack of damage and the strength of him, given when you see the video,” said Boston Police Commissioner William Evans.
“We’re just thankful he’s alive and hopefully one day able to get back on the police department.”
Moynihan is a decorated officer who was a recipient of the Nation’s Top Cop Award, among other honors.
In 2014 Moynihan was given the award by President Barack Obama for his role in saving the life of Transit Officer Dic Donohue in Watertown shootout with Boston Marathon bombers Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev.
Evans said Moynihan has seen the video of the March shooting, though he did not want to comment on the officer’s reaction to seeing it.
“He probably realizes he’s really lucky to be talking at this point,” Evans said.
One of the top prosecutors investigating the shooting was also responsible for convicting the man who murdered West’s brother in 2002.
Conley said the investigation is ongoing and more information will likely be released in upcoming weeks.
“There’s a lot more work that needs to be done,” said Conley. “Sometimes these things take a little longer than you may like.”
The decision to release the video has its critics including Reverend Miniard Culpepper of Pleasant Hill Baptist Church in Dorchester.
While police say this video shows the other side of the national conversation about police confrontations, Miniard believes there’s now a piling-on of violent images.
“I think it adds on to all that we’ve seen,” he said. “At some point there has to be something to balance all these killings that young folks, in particular, are seeing.”
He says healing had begun in the community in the wake of the shooting, but now “we’re opening an old wound, throwing gas on the fire. Instead of moving us forward the video is taking us back.”