MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) - The family of a man shot and killed by Memphis police is calling his death unjustified, and they say they have the video to prove it.
"Officers with the Memphis Police Department shot and unjustifiably killed Steven Askew," stated Howard Manis, the attorney representing Steven Askew's family, at a press conference Tuesday morning. "Steven Askew was killed due to the blatant disregard of his civil rights and welfare."
Flanked by Askew's mother, father, and many other family members inside a conference room at his office, Manis said Askew died as a result of multiple gunshot wounds after being shot last Thursday at the Windsor Place Apartments on Knight Arnold.
The MPD contends the two officers shot Askew after he pointed a gun at them. Those officers were later identified as Ned Aufdenkamp, 30, and Matthew Dyess, 31.
But Manis said, "He lawfully possessed a weapon and a permit to carry that weapon."
After hearing gunshots, Manis says someone who lives at Windsor Place pulled out a camera phone and started recording.
"The videotape shows two original officers around the car, one on each side, then other officers arrive," Manis said. "It appears 3 more shots ware fired into the car on the video… The barrage of gunfire alone should have raised red flags as to the conduct of these officers."
Memphis Police Director Toney Armstrong disagrees.
"There is a loud noise recorded on the video but it's not indicative of gunfire," he stated. "The physical reaction of all officers and witnesses did not support additional gunfire."
Still, Manis describes the action of the officers as "a callous indifference for the life and rights of a law abiding citizen of Memphis."
Officers Dyess and Aufdenkamp were relieved of duty with pay pending the outcome of the investigation, per department policy. Aufdenkamp has been a Memphis officer since July 2007, Dyess has served since June 2010.