GAITHERSBURG, Md. — Activists and the family of a 21-year-old man shot and killed by Montgomery County Police outside of a McDonald's are demanding the department release full unedited videos of what happened that night.
At a media briefing Tuesday, Montgomery County Police Chief Marcus Jones narrated a 28-minute-long compilation of bodycam video excerpts and a recorded phone call between police and Ryan LeRoux, before the July 16 shooting in Gaithersburg. The chief didn’t express any opinion about whether the shooting was justified.
Ryan's mother, Rhonda LeRoux, described losing her son as one of the greatest traumas imaginable. At a press conference Tuesday afternoon, she said that she wouldn't wish this kind of pain on any parent.
"We can't sleep, we can't eat nor rest," Rhonda LeRoux said. "We just feel numb or empty inside."
She said there is no doubt in her mind that her son was suffering from depression, and believes he was drinking and experimenting with marijuana. Rhonda LeRoux noted her son had gone through a series of hardships, such as breaking up with his long-term girlfriend and losing his grandmother whom he was very close to.
Police Chief Jones said officers found a gun in Ryan LeRoux's lap after the shooting. His mother explained that her son was living in his car at the time and had purchased the gun for his own protection.
"There isn't any video that we are aware of that shows Ryan raising his hands with the gun in it," she said.
While some footage was released Tuesday by police, Rhonda LeRoux said the family hasn't been able to view the complete police cam footage, something activists are demanding to be released.
"People lie but the camera doesn't," Rhonda LeRoux said.
Ryan's family and activists are also questioning why it took so long for a trained mental health crisis unit to be called to the scene.
"Ryan was sitting in his car for over an hour," his mother said. "Clearly the Montgomery County Police failed to de-escalate the situation."
The family says it's clear that Montgomery County Police do not have the knowledge base or skills to de-escalate mental health crises like the one her son appeared to have been going through.
"Their way of resolving the situation was just to unload a barrage of 24 bullets into him while he's sitting in his car," Rhonda LeRoux said. "That's unconscionable and it's unacceptable."
Montgomery County Police release bodycam footage of 21-year-old shot, killed by police in McDonald's parking lot.
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