Winston-Salem, North Carolina: During a traffic stop, a white North Carolina policeman, Officer D.E. McGuire shot and killed a 60-year-old black man, Edward Van McCrae – who was a passenger – authorities said Saturday. The State Bureau of Investigation has been brought in to investigate the shooting, which happened, friday, in a residential area of modest homes, a spokesman for the state agency, Brent Culbertson said. McGuire, who has worked for the department since 2015, has been put on administrative duty pending the investigation.
The news release said that McCrae used his body camera from the beginning of the traffic stop, and he called for backup when he saw McCrae’s suspicious movements. State law typically requires a judge to sign off on any public release of police body-camera footage.
The police body camera video of the shooting is yet to be released but the official police narrative goes as follows, according to the news release:
That the shooting happened after Officer D.E. McGuire stopped a car containing two men and a woman about 10:30 p.m. Friday during a routine patrol northeast of downtown.
That Edward Van McCrae, 60, was in the rear seat and began making suspicious movements.
That McGuire told McCrae to stop reaching for concealed areas of the vehicle, but McCrae continued
“After being removed from the vehicle, Mr. McCrae physically struggled with Officer McGuire and refused multiple verbal commands by Officer McGuire to ‘stop reaching,'” the news release said. “As the struggle continued, a handgun became visible to Officer McGuire.”
That McGuire shot and killed McCrae when he refused commands not to reach for the gun. A police report characterizes the exchange as an assault on the officer with a firearm.
That Other officers arrived within seconds of the shooting and attempted to resuscitate McCrae, as did an emergency medical crew. He was pronounced dead at the scene. The other occupants of the car weren’t injured.
That Officer D.E. McGuire had minor abrasions after the “altercation”.
A woman who lives near the scene of the shooting, Delphine Bias, told WGHP that she heard gunshots before walking to her window to see McCrae lying on the ground.
“I heard about four or five shots, ‘Pow! Pow! Pow! Pow! Pow!'” she said. “So when I jumped up to run to see what was going on, I saw a gentleman laying over there on the street.”
We have recounted the police version of events but await the release of the video to reach an informed opinion. Nevertheless Edward Van McCrae was a human being. Lethal force whenever police deal with black people needs to be addressed.