ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The man on the motorcycle had nothing but excuses.
Pulled over by police, the driver – identified by police as Davon Lymon – repeatedly ignored officer Daniel Webster’s commands to put his hands up. He whined instead.
“This hand won’t reach back there, sir,” the driver said.
The excuses continued until Webster managed to secure handcuffs around one of the man’s wrists.
Then shots rang out, and Webster took cover behind his squad car.
“Shots fired! Shots fired!” he yelled into his radio.
Footage from Webster’s body camera – released by federal prosecutors Monday – captured the last moments of his fatal struggle after a traffic stop in October last year. Lymon faces charges of murder, shooting from a motor vehicle and other felonies.
Release of the video by the U.S. Attorney’s Office comes after a legal struggle over whether to unseal it. The lapel camera footage and other videos were used in the trial and conviction of Lymon on charges of illegally possessing the gun that police say was used to kill Webster.
Lymon’s lawyers and Webster’s widow had argued against release of the videos, which initially were sealed. The Journal and other media organizations intervened in the case and argued that it was inappropriate to block their release, given that they were played in open court and used to obtain a conviction.
U.S. District Court Judge Christina Armijo rejected a final request by Lymon’s lawyers on Monday to postpone release of the video.
Webster’s widow, Michelle Carlino-Webster, asked the news media to refrain from publishing the video, or at least the part after the struggle on the motorcycle.
“It is horrific,” she said in a letter to media organizations, “and it is not the way we want to remember this great man.”
She also asked the media to refrain from airing the audio.
The Journal made the decision to post the video on ABQJournal.com.
“We certainly sympathize with Mrs. Carlino-Webster,” Journal editor Kent Walz said. “It is a difficult decision. But the video primarily shows events leading up to the shooting and we believe it helps the public understand the tragic events of that night and illustrates the danger police officers face every day.”
The body camera footage released Monday ends just seconds after the shooting and does not show the wounded officer. Webster calls out “shots fired” into his radio and retreats toward his police cruiser. There’s nothing after that.
A video from a Walgreens security camera, with no audio, also was released, but it doesn’t show the shooting itself. It shows Webster’s move toward his squad car, but his image is quickly washed out in the glare.
Lymon’s appearance in a police interview room – presumably after the shooting – is also shown in the videos released Monday. Lymon is wearing a hospital gown, and his left hand is bandaged.
He makes an apology of sorts, though he doesn’t say to what he’s referring.
“If you see that person – that guy’s family – tell him I’m so sorry,” Lymon says. “Please. I honestly don’t know what the (expletive) happened. Don’t remember it.”