DC police release video of cruiser fatally striking pedestrian

Police in D.C. released the body-worn camera video of an officer striking a pedestrian with a cruiser while on the way to respond to an emergency call last month.

Devonne Christine Harris, 62, of no fixed address, was hit on July 24 at about 9:30 p.m. by a marked police car with its lights and siren on, heading south on the 2800 block of Minnesota Avenue Southeast, between Massachusetts and Pennsylvania avenues.

The video shows the perspective of two officers via their body camera footage as they drove in a police cruiser, showing the dash and flashing lights. Sirens can be heard, as well as the radio communication.

The video showed the cruiser suddenly stopping, and the two officers stepping out of the vehicle.

They locate Harris and one officer performs chest compressions, saying, “Come on. Breathe,” several times.

The officer also confirms to the other officer that there was a faint pulse on Harris.

You can watch the video here. (Editor’s note: The contents of the video may contain images upsetting to some viewers.)

Police said in a statement last month that Harris was in the roadway, and not in a crosswalk, when she was hit.

She was pronounced dead at a hospital.

The incident is pending review by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia and D.C. police’s Crash Review Board.

Body camera and security footage involving fatal shootings or serious or deadly force by police are now being released following emergency legislation passed by D.C. Council in June that included sweeping police reforms.

Last month, Mayor Muriel Bowser authorized the release of edited body camera and nearby security footage from three police-involved deaths from 2018.

Abigail Constantino

Abigail Constantino started her journalism career writing for a local newspaper in Fairfax County, Virginia. She is a graduate of American University and The George Washington University.

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