Black Man Accused Of Stealing Fruit Fatally Shot By Police

Photo: Getty Images

A Black man died days after he was shot by a New York police officer for allegedly stealing fruit.

The fatal shooting of Jarrell Garris, 37, unfolded on July 3 while police were responding to a report of a grocery store food theft in New Rochelle, New York, per Atlanta Black Star. Garris was allegedly seen eating a banana and grapes from the store.

Body camera footage released by the New York Police Department shows two officers talking to Garris before attempting to arrest him.

“Hey. Listen, we’re just trying to have a conversation,” one of the officers said. “What were you doing in the store? You were eating the food?”

“You’re under arrest,” Detective Steven Conn, who accompanied the officers, said, per bodycam footage.

“For what?” Garis asked.

While attempting to arrest Garris, a struggle ensued before one of the officers yelled “Taser him.” Moments later, another officer yelled, “He’s got a gun. He’s got a gun!”

The video appears to show Garris with an object in one of his hands. According to police, Garris reached for one of the officer's weapons.

Video released by the New York Police Department ends before the actual shooting. Garris was taken to a hospital where he died roughly a week later.

Community and family members are demanding that all body camera footage be released.

“We’ve gotten what appears to be a veneer of transparency,” attorney William O. Wagstaff lll said. “What true transparency means is releasing all video, all information, and they haven’t done it.”

According to family members, Garris had a history of mental health issues, including schizophrenia. Rev. Jamel Hollis said it was clear that Garris had experienced a mental health crisis and was critical of the grocery store for calling the police.

“It is obvious that that day he was having an episode,” said Hollis. “I think it’s important to know that when you own a store in a community, and you have the community patronize your business, there should be some know-how and empathy in how you treat everybody in the community.”

New York Attorney General Letitia James has reportedly ordered an investigation into the fatal shooting.

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