116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
CEDAR RAPIDS - Police say the dash camera inside an officer's squad car was in use at the time of a traffic stop early Tuesday in Cedar Rapids during which authorities say the officer and driver engaged in an altercation and the officer shot the man.
Jerime Mitchell, 37, of Cedar Rapids remains hospitalized at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics in Iowa City. Family members said he was in critical condition as of Wednesday afternoon.
At vigils Tuesday and Wednesday night, supporters of Mitchell called on police to release any dash camera or surveillance video of the traffic stop and altercation police said led to the shooting.
'I'm very disgusted by the fact they are not releasing the footage. We knew there was footage the whole time,” said Shalyse Johnson, Mitchell's niece. 'We want them to release it because it will show he is non-violent, non-confrontational.”
Greg Beulow, Cedar Rapids public safety spokesman, said the video footage is to be reviewed by the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation, which is investigating the incident. He said the Linn County Attorney's Office also is to review the footage.
'The Cedar Rapids Police Department understands the concerns and request for more information voiced by some members of the community with regards to the officer-involved shooting ...” Buelow said in a news release. 'As with any investigation, there is a legal process that must be followed with regards to the collection, review and analysis of evidence. At the same time, interviews and statements must be completed.”
Rick Rahn, special agent in charge of the investigation for the DCI, said he would not release any information about the case Wednesday.
A Cedar Rapids officer pulled over Mitchell at 1:15 a.m. Tuesday on the lower part of Coe Road NE near St. Luke's Hospital, authorities said. Police said Mitchell 'began an altercation” that resulted in the officer firing his gun.
Mitchell drove away in his vehicle south on Coe Road toward First Avenue E. Near A Avenue and Coe Road, police said, and collided with an unmarked police sport utility vehicle driven by a responding officer. Mitchell then hit an unoccupied vehicle in a parking lot off Coe Road and First Avenue, police said.
Mitchell was taken into custody and transported to the hospital in Iowa City. Mitchell's brother-in-law, Jesse Land, said Mitchell was in critical condition Wednesday. Mitchell was shot on the left side of his neck, and the bullet lodged itself in his spine below his voice box, Land previously told The Gazette.
Land said the family is waiting for more information about the shooting.
'We just want to get to the bottom of it,” he said. 'There's two sides to every story. ... We would just like to see what really happened.”
Coe College spokesman Rod Pritchard said school policy requires a subpoena to turn over any campus surveillance footage, citing the investigation into the death of Sharon Mead near campus. He referred any comments about turning over security footage to the DCI.
The name of the officer involved in the shooting has not been released. Rahn told The Gazette on Tuesday it is standard protocol to give an officer in this situation two sleep cycles before setting up an interview. The officer is on paid administrative leave.
Buelow, on Wednesday, asked for the public's understanding and patience as the investigation proceeds.
'The investigative process is thorough and deliberative,” he said in a news release. ' ... All of the facts and evidence will be presented to the Linn County Attorney's Office” which is to 'determine whether the use of force was justified as part of their review of the case.”
About 30 people gathered Wednesday evening near the scene of the incident. Some held signs, others urged passing cars to 'honk for justice.”
'Everyone out here is out here based on his character,” said Chuck Crawley, a friend of Mitchell.
Johnson called her uncle a hardworking family man who respects the law.
'If he ever saw a fight, he would walk away from it,” she said. 'We're going to continue to protest until we get answers. We don't want this swept under the rug because this could happen to anyone.”
Gazette reporter Chelsea Keenan contributed to this story.