A disturbing video shows the moment police shoot a man suspected of robbing a bank after he confronted them with a straight razor.
Warning: Video contains graphic content. Viewer discretion advised.
Video shot by a witness and uploaded to Instagram shows Miami Beach police open fire on a man accused of robbing a Bank of America.
On Saturday, police say they responded to a hold-up alarm and emergency call made from inside of the bank.
The caller told police the man, who has not yet been identified, passed a teller a note demanding money and indicating he was armed with an explosive device, according to WPLG.
When police arrived, the bald man had fled to a nearby barbershop, reports WPLG, from where he soon emerged shirtless and armed with a straight razor.
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“Shots were fired and the subject is deceased,” Det. Kathleen Prieto said in a statement.
The person who posted the video to social media says police attempted to negotiate with the man prior to the shooting taking place.
“Miami Beach Police Officers tried to talk him down, but he just wouldn’t cooperate. Early morning shenanigans on Miami Beach. I just want my coffee with 3 creams and 3 sugars,” the man wrote.
“He was challenged by the officers in the street,” Police Chief Daniel Oates said at a press conference, “and at some point during that confrontation he did raise his hand with a straight edge razor in it, and he was shot.”
The police chief says the robber was unsuccessful in stealing cash from the bank. “He left without the money,” stated Oates.
Critics of police wonder whether the man armed with a razor constituted such a threat to the officers’ lives as to require lethal force.
“It’s not known why an officer with an assault weapon drawn and aimed would feel his life was in danger, or why an officer would approach so closely if their lives were in danger from a blade,” writes Grant Stern for Photography is Not a Crime.
The police chief said at least one officer was wearing a body camera, but that footage could not be released yet publicly under state law.
Upon closer analysis of the video, it appears as though one officer tazes the man, just before another officer fires his assault rifle as the suspect is already falling to the ground.
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