GRAPHIC: Leavenworth police released body cam video of 2017 fatal shooting
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (KCTV) - Days after a mistrial was declared in the case of the fatal shooting by a police officer, the Leavenworth Police Department has released body camera video of the incident.
Officer Matthew Harrington had been indicted in the deadly 2017 shooting of Antonio Garcia.
WARNING: The video of the fatal shooting is graphic in nature.
The most compelling portion of the video was the last 28 seconds leading to Garcia’s death.
In the video, Harrington is seen approaching Garcia.
“So what’s going on man?”
The video was recorded on July 11th, 2017, the day when Matthew Harrington was first called to the Garcia home. In one part of the video, the Officer is seen approaching the home and speaking with a family member. Harrington is told about an argument.
“All I know is if he comes back they’re probably going to have problems again,” said the family member in the video.
Shortly after, Harrington is seen walking up to Garcia, sitting in an SUV.
“What’s going on man?” said Harrington.
“Me and my wife are having a disagreement,” said Garcia, quickly shutting the door on the officer.
Garcia shuts the door on Harrington several times. Garcia is also warned by Harrington to put away a knife he’s seen holding and exit the car. Garcia does not comply and it ends in a hail of deadly gunfire.
“I have concluded that it is in the public interest to release the officer-involved Shooting videos from Former Officer Mathew Harrington and Antonio Garcia, Jr.,” Chief Patrick Kitchens of Leavenworth Police Department said.
“It’s a decision that the city and the chief made and I respect the Chief,” said Todd Thompson, Leavenworth County Attorney.
Thompson says normally releasing any evidence is never beneficial to a case.
“I trust our justice system I trust our community and I trust our citizens and I trust that we’re going to be able to find through the vetting process who gets called in the jury selection process,” said Thompson.
Antonio’s Widow, Heather Garcia issued the following statement through her attorney after the video release.
“Mrs. Garcia appreciates that the body cam video from the night her husband was needlessly killed is finally being made public. However, She remains deeply troubled by the lack of transparency exhibited by the police and prosecutors throughout this ordeal. As the public can now see, It is difficult to imagine how anyone could conclude that officer Harrington’s actions were reasonable and she remains committed to seeking justice for Antonio. She asks for understanding as she and her family continue to try and heal from this tragic loss.
Now as the public will view some of the key evidence in the case, Thompson reminded that the case is not closed yet.
“It’s a pending case and Mr. Harrington is still innocent until proven guilty and he hasn’t been proven either way,” said Thompson.
The county attorney also said he is re-evaluating whether he will seek another trial.
“We just spent a lot of time preparing and having a trial it’s something we have to take into consideration with what the jury decided.”
Garcia’s family filed a wrongful death lawsuit, which the city settled for $1 million.
Copyright 2022 KCTV. All rights reserved.