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Ananias Shaw, 74
Selma, Alabama
December 04, 2013

Agencies: Alabama State Bureau of Investigation | Selma Police Department Alabama

Last updated: 5 months ago

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Selma Police released the full video Tuesday of the fatal shooting of 74-year-old Ananias Shaw. A portion of the video was released to AL.com last week.

The video was taken on December 4, 2013 by a body camera on the officer's vest. In the video you can hear police telling Shaw to put down an ax he was carrying. When he turns toward the officer he is shot.

The officer was cleared of any wrongdoing by the Alabama Bureau of Investigation and a grand jury.

With police shootings making headlines across the nation, the Selma case adds a different layer to the conversation -- not least of all because of the city's historic civil rights significance.
CNN saw the video, which runs four minutes and 48 seconds, after the family did. It shows a patrol officer pulling up to an abandoned building, where two other officers have already gathered. One officer ducks inside the building and soon Ananias Shaw emerges, holding an ax and cussing. An officer follows, there are at least 20 shouts to "drop the ax," and then Shaw turns toward the officer, appears to lunge toward him, and -- bang -- he's dead.
Officers had been called to respond to a disturbance at a Church's Chicken restaurant, but found Shaw across the street in the long-gone Towns Laundromat.
Edward Shaw said his brother, once a mechanic, had "lost himself" after his wife left him decades ago and his house burned in a fire. He said Selma police knew his brother "acted crazy," and walked the streets but that he never harmed anyone. And he just can't understand why they had to follow him.
"He'd left Church's Chicken, and wasn't shot for disturbing the peace, but because they were messing with him in his domain."
Shaw said requests to see the video only gained traction after a small band of protesters took to the streets.

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January 2015 Officers cleared

Community and Family Efforts Help icon

December 2014 protest for video to be released