Jerry Smith Jr.: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

Jerry Smith Jr

Jerry Smith Jr/Milwaukee Police Jerry Smith Jr is a black Milwaukee teen who was unarmed when he was shot by police.

Jerry Smith Jr. was shot by Milwaukee Police in August of 2017 while unarmed. Smith, who was holding only a cell phone, is seen spreading his arms and going to the ground when police opened fire in a newly released body camera video obtained by Milwaukee’s Fox 6 News.

Police were responding to a call about an armed man and were heard discussing a possible gun prior to the shooting on the body cam video. They were later heard questioning where the gun was after Smith was shot multiple times and screaming for help.

Prosecutors determined that the shooting was justified after two officers said they believed Smith was armed and they were in danger. Smith’s attorney is calling for prosecutors to reconsider their decision not to charge the officers.

Here’s what you need to know:


1. Police Shot Jerry Smith Jr. While Responding to Call About an Armed Man

Family of man shot by Milwaukee police concerned about investigationThe mother of Jerry Smith, who was shot Thursday my Milwaukee police, says she hasn't been able to see her son in the hospital. Subscribe to WISN on YouTube for more: bit.ly/1emE5YX Get more Milwaukee news: wisn.com/ Like us: facebook.com/wisn12 Follow us: twitter.com/WISN12News2017-09-01T23:35:59.000Z

Police officers involved in the shooting were responding to a call of an unarmed man who apparently matched Smith’s description, Fox 6 reported. Officers believed Smith had a gun.

According to Smith’s attorneys, he was holding only a cell phone to call his mother.

“An unarmed man had committed no crime, no criminal history, no drugs and is getting on the ground with his fingers spread when the officer opened fire,” Daniel Storm, a forensic investigator working with Smith’s attorney Walter Stern, told Fox 6. “Lucky to be alive because the one bullet just grazed his head.”


2. Body Cam Video Shows Jerry Smith Jr. Appear to Comply With Police Orders

Milwaukee police shoot unarmed man holding cellphone | New York PostJerry Smith Jr. is suing the city of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, after being shot by police in August 2017. Recently released bodycam footage shows that Smith was holding a cellphone when confronted by police. The New York Post is your source for breaking news, news about New York, sports, business, entertainment, opinion, real estate, culture, fashion,…2018-11-26T18:37:21.000Z

Body camera footage provided by Smith’s lawyers to Fox 6 shows officers discussing a gun while jumping on to a roof where Smith was standing. Smith is seen spreading his arms as officers yell at him to put his hands in the air. He lowers his arms as he goes to kneel down, at which point an officer opens fire.

The video stops when Smith drops to the ground and an officer is later seen handcuffing his hands behind his back as Smith wails for help.

“Where’s the gun?” an officer is heard asking in the video as Smith continues to cry out.


3. District Attorney Said Shooting of Jerry Smith Was Justified

The Milwaukee County District Attorney’s Office ruled that shooting was justified, according to Smith’s attorneys. The decision came after Officer Melvin Finkley, who fired his gun twice, said in a statement that he “perceived Mr. Smith was reaching for a weapon concealed behind the air conditioning unit.”

Officer Adam Stahl, who fired one shot after Finkley opened fire, said that he shot Smith because he “feared for Officer Finkley’s safety and for his own.”

The Independent reports that the shooting does not need an independent investigator because it was not fatal. Both officers are still on the force but are now on administrative duty.

Storm said he hoped federal prosecutors will take a look at the case.

“We’re asking the U.S. Attorney’s office to now look at this video, make an independent decision or recommend to District Attorney Chisholm to submit this to a grand jury,” he told Fox 6. “His right leg, he has partial use of it. We can only hope that the US attorney would get involved because we may have a violation of civil rights.”

“The people in the community need to see that cops are as accountable as they are,” he added.


4. Jerry Smith Jr. is Confined to a Wheelchair After Being Shot in the Head

Daniel Storm showing of The shooting of Jerry Smith Jr. 8-31-20172018-11-23T15:32:59.000Z

Smith said that he has needed a wheelchair since leaving the hospital in September. Smith’s lawyers said he only has “partial use” of his right leg because a bullet is still lodged in his hip.

“Right after the surgery, the only thing he could have was soup and Jell-O, things like that — because they removed part of his intestines,” Smith’s lawyers said in a statement. He just underwent six or seven weeks of antibiotics to his heart because he had three different infections at that time.”

“I still got the bullet inside me. I ain’t never thought that was gonna happen to me,” Smith told TMJ4. “I didn’t think I’d be in a wheelchair.”


5. ‘I Really Don’t Know Why They Shot Me,’ Jerry Smith Jr. Says

Man shot by police says he didn't have a gunA man shot by police in August spoke to reporters for the first time Tuesday, saying he had his hands up and did not have a gun.2017-11-07T23:12:39.000Z

“They said ‘have your hands up, put your hands up,'” Smith told TMJ. “I had my hands up, my phone was in my right hand.”

“I really don’t know why they shot me,” he said. “OK I ran, but the officer scared the hell out of me man. He got off the bike grabbing his gun cause I match the description of someone having a gun.”

“I’d like to see some change, real change where we don’t have this shoot first ask questions later,” added his attorney, Walter Stern.

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