Wagoner, OK -- Graphic body camera video was just released showing a Wagoner police officer kill an unarmed man -- for pointing his finger.
The shooting occurred after 25-year-old Andrew Henson led police on a high-speed chase for approximately 20 minutes. The chase began after a routine traffic stop.
Police say Henson's car rolled after he clipped a patrol car. When Officer Robert Reynolds approached Henson, he was hiding behind the car.
According to the body cam footage, Officer Reynolds approached Henson with his gun drawn. As Henson emerged from behind the vehicle, he pointed at Reynolds. "You're going to have to kill me," Henson said.
The officer then mistook a finger for a gun and began firing into the body of Henson. As Henson fell to the ground, clearly unarmed, Reynolds fired again.
According to the police report, Reynolds believed Henson had a gun, as his hand was in the shape of a pistol while pointing.
Cynthia Crawford, who lives right next to the lot, said she saw the shooting unfold from her window.
"I ain't never going to forget this,” she said. “I visit him almost every day, or every other day. I come and plant those flowers down there for him."
Family and friends have since built a memorial where Henson was killed.
According to police chief Bob Haley, Henson was wanted on a warrant for burglary. However, this should have never been a death sentence.
Recommended for You
"Mr. Henson failed to comply with the commands he was given and he reacted to what he perceived," said Chief Bob Haley of Reynolds' reaction.
Haley's statement is particularly worrisome as he is justifying the cold-blooded killing of an unarmed man because the officer perceived that he had a gun.
Reynolds did not mistake an object in Henson's hand for a weapon, nor did Henson come running at him. This officer clearly made a deadly decision based in irrational fear -- subsequently declaring himself judge, jury, and executioner.
According to police, Reynolds is on administrative leave while OSBI investigates the shooting.
Another neighbor, who didn't witness the shooting, told News On 6 that he always trusts police and knows they made the right decision.
"I don't second-guess them at all," the witness said, illustrating an underlying problem with police accountability -- blind trust.
It's entirely bad enough that pointing a finger like a gun will get children suspended from school. However, in police state USA, this hand gesture now appears to be punishable by death.
Unfortunately, cops mistaking fingers for guns is not uncommon. Last year, a Salem police officer fired on an unarmed man because he allegedly turned quickly toward them with his hands pointed in a "gun gesture."
Instead of apologizing for nearly killing him, police then arrested 31-year-old Raymond Shawdee and charged him with criminal threatening and reckless conduct.
Below is the graphic video of what aggression and fear look like when mixed.