Police: Video of I-95 Shooting That Killed One Shows Deadly Force Justified

Police Use of Force Video

The Providence Police Department in Rhode Island released video footage Friday of a deadly shooting on Interstate 95 that involved several police officers as evidence for why the department’s use of deadly force was justified.

The police department showed highway surveillance footage before the shooting and videos from police officers’ body cameras to a room filled with reporters as evidence that the department had to use deadly force to stop an imminent threat, the Associated Press reported.

The highway surveillance footage shows the driver of a white pickup truck racing down I-95 attempting to evade police cars. The driver got stuck in traffic right where the two highways merge, repeatedly ramming the car in front of him while officers dodged the moving car.

The second video from the police officers’ body cameras shows the officers swarming around the white pickup truck before firing 40 rounds of bullets that struck both the driver and the passenger. Providence Police Chief Hugh Clements said the driver was killed and the passenger had been injured.

‘‘This vehicle is being used as a weapon in an attempt to flee, and it is hitting other cars. It is ramming at least one other car and it is rocking back and forth,’’ Clements said as the video played.

Clements added that the footage showed the police “doing exactly what we would want them to do in stopping an imminent and significant threat.”

An officer then rescued the woman from her rammed car and brought her to safety.

Clements identified Joseph Santos, 32, as the dead man and Christine Demers, 37, as the injured passenger, who remains hospitalized.

Providence Public Safety Commissioner Steven Pare said he could not yet pin down why Santos was fleeing or how Santos and Demers knew each other. Clements added that Santos had two outstanding warrants.

The Rhode Island State Police did not release information about how many officers had used deadly force or if any of them had been placed on administrative leave more than 24 hours after the shooting.

State police and Providence police conducted a joint investigation into whether the use of force had been justified, which the state attorney general is overseeing.

The findings will be presented to a grand jury that will determine if the police officers’ actions were justified.


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