(CNN) — The brother of an unarmed Black man shot and killed by a police officer in Louisiana said seeing body camera video of the fatal encounter answered some of his questions, but not all of them.
“My initial response to the bodycam footage was confusion followed by anger,” Xavier Sudds told CNN Thursday after viewing the video of his brother, Alonzo Bagley, being shot in the chest by a Shreveport police officer on February 3.
The officer, Alexander Tyler, has been arrested on a charge of negligent homicide and made his first court appearance Thursday.
Tyler was one of two officers who encountered Bagley, 43, while responding to a domestic disturbance call at an apartment complex, police said. After the officers arrived, Bagley jumped from a second-floor balcony and ran, they said. Following a brief foot chase, Tyler shot Bagley, who was later found to be unarmed, according to Louisiana State Police, which is the agency investigating the shooting.
A state police investigator told a judge in court Thursday that Bagley’s hands were up in the split second after the shooting, but acknowledged the view from the body camera is obstructed by the way the officer is turned when the shot is fired.
Sudds said his anger at viewing the video stems from not understanding why a domestic disturbance call turned deadly. “I think at this point, the only thing I’m wondering is just the procedure. Why did it happen like it happened?” he told CNN’s Anderson Cooper.
Bagley was killed less than a month after the brutal beating death of Tyre Nichols at the hands of police officers in Memphis, Tennessee, another case in which body camera video contributed to charges against the officers involved, reigniting protests over police use of force. Five officers in Nichols’ case were charged with murder and kidnapping after prosecutors viewed video of the beating.
Sudds said he’s pleased with the negligent homicide charge against Tyler, but added, “We have to make sure that my brother’s death is not in vain. We have to make sure we have transparency, to make sure that we have justice.”
An attorney for the Bagley family highlighted the importance of the police video to the case.
“If we don’t have this body camera footage, we just have this officer’s word. And we likely do not have an arrest today and this family would be burying their loved one with the cloud of uncertainty,” Ron Haley told CNN. Bagley’s funeral is scheduled for Saturday.
Tyler has been with the Shreveport police department since May 2021 and was on paid administrative leave during the investigation.
His bond was set at $25,000; his next court date is April 3. Before the arrest, Tyler declined to comment to CNN about the incident.
Tyler’s attorney, Dhu Thompson, said he hopes the bodycam footage is reviewed “thoroughly and a decision is made based on facts and evidence.”
“Officers are always faced on a day-to-day basis with dangerous situations like that and at times where they have to make split-second decisions where they’re in a potential life-threatening situation,” Thompson said.
“The mere fact that an argument is being made by the investigator in court that he was unarmed does not necessarily mean that he is not a threat to the officer.”
Bagley’s family has filed a federal lawsuit against Tyler, accusing the officer of violating Bagley’s Fourth Amendment rights and seeking more than $10 million in damages.
‘Oh, God, you shot me.’
The footage released by state police included videos from both Tyler and an unnamed second officer, the agency said.
The body camera video from the unnamed officer begins when the officers enter the apartment building, walk up stairs and knock, at which point Bagley opens the front door. The officers ask him to step out of his apartment and Bagley refuses.
The officers then follow Bagley into the apartment as he says he’s going to put the dogs away. Officers tell him to let someone else in the home do it and continue following him into a room, where he exits onto an outdoor balcony and jumps over the railing, landing on the ground below. The officer goes back through the apartment and then exits the building in pursuit of Bagley, running on foot.
The pursuit lasts about a minute. According to the state police statement on Thursday, it was Tyler who then comes upon Bagley.
A gunshot is heard as Bagley is shot in the chest. He slowly falls to the ground and says, “Oh no! Oh, God, you shot me.”
According to state police, Tyler “inadvertently” turned off his camera and then turned it back on “within one second” after he fired the shot that killed Bagley.
After Tyler fired the shot, his body-cam video shows Tyler walking back over to Bagley, gun in hand. The other officer turns Bagley on his back as he begins first aid and calls for EMS.
Tyler is audibly distraught, saying, “Come on, dude,” and “Stay with me,” as the other officer performs chest compressions. The other officer is heard telling Tyler to go to the front of the building, which he does as first responders arrive.
The state police investigator told the court Thursday that Tyler had his weapon out during the chase, while the other officer holstered his weapon when Bagley jumped from the balcony.
Bagley’s family was shown the video Thursday morning before it was released, one of their attorneys said.
Shortly after viewing the video, Sudds, told CNN his brother’s “hands were up” at the time of the shooting — though it is difficult to tell from the video released Thursday. “He was not threatening in any kind of way,” Sudds said of Bagley.
Bagley sued the police department in 2018
Documents show Bagley had another run-in with Shreveport police years before his death and filed a federal lawsuit over the encounter.
In his lawsuit, Bagley said he was assaulted during a January 2018 arrest and required “treatment of a broken occipital orbital eye-socket bones, contusions to the head and face, and a number of his front upper teeth knocked out.”
The incident began when officers responded to a domestic dispute between Bagley and his wife, the complaint states.
Bagley was placed in handcuffs that were too tight and while in the back of a patrol car, he “maneuvered his hands to the front of his body due to the pain and discomfort of being handcuffed behind his back,” the suit said.
An officer then opened the door and “delivered … several close-fisted strikes to the head and face,” according to the lawsuit.
Bagley was handcuffed the entire time and offered no resistance, the lawsuit says.
In response to the complaint, the city said the officer was assisting Bagley because he was “attempting to strangle or choke himself with the seatbelt.”
The city went on to say the officer did strike Bagley’s head and face when he tried to prevent an officer from removing the seatbelt.
It is unclear whether the lawsuit resulted in a settlement or some kind of similar resolution.
An attorney who represented Bagley in the case did not return calls from CNN seeking comment.
Bagley was charged with domestic abuse battery and resisting an officer related to the incident. The domestic abuse charge was dismissed, and he pleaded guilty in February 2018 to the charge of resisting an officer, according to court records.
CNN has requested comment from the police department, and filed an open records request with the city to find out more about the 2018 incident. Tyler was not with the department when the 2018 incident occurred.