Medical Examiner Releases Details After Man Killed by Police

Race relations strained in Fort Worth, leaders say

An armed fugitive who was shot and killed by Fort Worth police on Sunday died of multiple gunshots to his head and chest, according to the Tarrant County Medical Examiner.

JaQuavion Slaton, 20, was shot in the 5200 block of East Berry Street after police said he was hiding in a pickup with a gun, made a threatening gesture and, evidence suggests, fired at least one shot. Slaton ran after a traffic stop and had a warrant for his arrest, police said.

At a raucous city council meeting Tuesday, community leaders demanded police release body camera footage of the shooting and wanted the three officers involved to be prosecuted.

"The community is tense,” said Bob Ray Sanders, former co-chair of the Race and Culture Task Force.

The group, which was appointed after the racially-charged controversial arrest of a woman in 2016, recommended an independent police review board and a full-time police monitor. The city is now working to put them in place.

"We've been saying for well over two years now that Fort Worth was one incident away from a major catastrophe involving police-community relations," Sanders said. "Sunday night could have been a riot."

Sanders was there after the shooting when hundreds of angry protesters came face to face with police trying to guard the crime scene.

A video shot by a neighbor shows several officers surrounding the pickup in which Slaton was hiding before gunfire rang out.

Critics say police should have simply backed away without shooting.

"It's clear that the police and community relations are very poor in this city and they have been for a long time," Sanders said. "We were hoping to get to a place we would start reconciling. That doesn't seem to be the case."

Sanders, a longtime journalist before leading the task force, says he's reserving judgment on whether the shooting was justified. But he adds police need to be more transparent and release video of what happened.

"They need to see the evidence of something being done,' he said. "Not just the talk. We've got the talkers. People can talk all day long. They want to see action."

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