Detroit Evening Report: Detroit police release footage of Porter Burks fatal shooting

Detroit police officers fired 38 shots in three seconds.

Detroit police hold a press conference showing footage of the shooting of Porter Burks.

Photo Credit: Detroit Police Department, Facebook

Detroit police have released body camera video of the fatal shooting of Porter Burks, a Detroit man who charged at officers while holding a knife.

The video was played Tuesday for reporters and showed officers pleading with Burks to drop the knife. But Burks — who had a history of mental illness — refused to do so, and after pacing in the middle of the street, suddenly sprinted toward the officers.

They fired 38 shots in three seconds, and police believe about 15 rounds struck Burks. He was later pronounced dead at a local hospital.

Police Chief James White said his department always hopes to avoid using lethal force.

“I want to once again extend my condolences to the family of Mr. Burks, who are obviously grieving the loss of their loved one,” White said at a press conference. “Any time the department has to use force is never, never a desired outcome. We always hope for a peaceful resolution.”

Detroit Free Press reports that Burks’ family was denied entry into the press conference due to only media being invited.

“Let the media know that he was shot and tased at the same time. That’s why the taser didn’t work,” Burks’ mother, Quieauna Wilson, said while outside the press conference door.

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  • Nargis Rahman

    Nargis Hakim Rahman is the Civic Reporter at 101.9 WDET. Rahman graduated from Wayne State University, where she was a part of the Journalism Institute of Media Diversity.