CMPD Releases Body Cam Video From Shooting; Interviews Itself About What Happened

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department did not allow journalists to ask them questions about the release of new body camera videos of an officer involved shooting. Instead, they produced a roughly 20 minute video where they provided the details and analysis they deemed relevant, and answered their own questions. “Why were the officers pursuing him? They clearly had arrestable charges against this individual,” says CMPD Lead Firearms Instructor Sgt. Steven Winterhalter in one part of the video.

The body cam videos are from September 15, 2022. CMPD says a license plate reader alerted to a stolen car in northwest Charlotte. They say they used traffic cameras to see that the driver had a Glock with an extended clip. When they pulled the driver over, he ran from the car, with the gun. Winterhalter explains in the produced video, “This would have totally changed the nature of the incident if the suspect had just left the weapon behind.”

The driver, 18-year-old Shaheed Covington, ran into the backyard of a house on Onyx Street. Officers approached from both sides of the house. Winterhalter says in the produced video, “It’s reasonable to believe that the officers involved in this incident felt threatened by this individual who was armed with a handgun and running in their direction.”

Multiple officers fired multiple shots; all missed Covington. He was arrested and charged with possession of a stolen vehicle, fleeing to elude, and resisting officers. CMPD says the officers had to fire their weapons in order to protect themselves. Winterhalter says in the produced video, “The officers perceived an immediate threat, did not have the luxury of delaying any longer than they had.”

The District Attorney’s office reviewed the case and didn’t charge any of the officers. Two juveniles in the car were charged with possession of a firearm by a minor. A fourth person in the car was not charged. Click here to see the produced CMPD video and the raw body camera videos.