SAVANNAH, Ga. — Relatives of a Georgia man fatally shot by police in January have called for police to release body camera video of the shooting, saying they’re confident the footage shows he was unarmed.
Officers shot 20-year-old Ricky Boyd outside his Savannah home Jan. 23 while trying to arrest him on a murder warrant. Boyd’s grandmother and younger siblings witnessed the shooting. Boyd was black. Authorities have not released the names or races of the officers.
A Savannah police officer was also wounded by gunshots outside Boyd’s home and Police Chief Mark Revenew at first said Boyd was armed and had “initiated gunfire toward officers.” The day after the shootings, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation said Boyd was holding a BB pistol. The bureau has not said who shot the injured officer.
More than two months later, Boyd’s family insists he had no type of gun in his hands when police shot him on the front porch.
Mattie Wallace, Boyd’s grandmother, said she and her younger grandchildren were standing outside the house where more than 10 officers surrounded the front yard when Boyd came out of the door. She said she heard an officer yell: “He’s got a gun!”
“And I hollered, ‘Don’t shoot! Don’t shoot! He doesn’t have a gun!'” Wallace said in an interview Thursday. “Then all I heard was shooting.”
Police said the officers had a warrant to charge Boyd with murder in the slaying of a 24-year-old man found shot two days earlier. Boyd’s mother, Jameillah Smiley, insists her son didn’t kill anyone and never confronted police with a weapon.
Smiley said investigators agreed to show her body camera video from the shooting. She said the footage showed her son with his “hands out, turning and before you know it, all I saw was him coming and falling to the ground.”
“I just want my son’s name to be cleared,” Smiley said.
Savannah police spokeswoman Bianca Johnson declined to comment on the case Friday. Body camera footage hasn’t been released because the state investigation of Boyd’s shooting is still considered open.
The Georgia Bureau of Investigation recently sent its findings to local prosecutors, which is common practice following shootings involving police officers in Georgia. Kristin Fulford, spokeswoman for Chatham County District Attorney Meg Heap, said prosecutors are reviewing the case.
This version has been corrected to show that Boyd was shot more than two months ago, not more than three months ago.