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At contentious Fort Worth City Council meeting, activists demand bodycam tapes

A packed room was reacting to Sunday's officer-involved shooting that resulted in the death of a 20-year-old black man.

FORT WORTH, Texas — At a loud, contentious and raw meeting at Fort Worth City Hall, activists and community members demanded that the city release body camera tapes from a police shooting that resulted in the death of 20-year-old JaQuavion Slaton.

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The comments came during the City Council meeting on Tuesday, and councilmembers could only listen to what was said and not directly respond. At times, there was shouting and anger.

Speaker after speaker suggested police tactics used Sunday do not follow de-escalation techniques that the Fort Worth Police Department is trained to use, and they are demanding the release of bodycam footage.

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"We want those tapes, and if those tapes illustrate to our village we were in the wrong, we'll accept responsibility for that," Bishop Mark Kirkland said.

Video of the incident taken from a wide angle by neighbors shows Fort Worth police officers surrounding a pickup truck where Slaton was hiding inside.

Police said that the man had a felony warrant and was seen with a gun when he was fleeing police.

They also said three officers shot him in the pickup truck after he didn't respond to verbal commands and made "an overt action" that caused them to fear for their lives. Police are not saying what that action was.  

They also said there is evidence that Slaton fired his weapon.

Still, activists say that a SWAT team should have been called, or other tactics should have been employed to deescalate the situation. Rev. Kyev Tatum said that the actions seen on the civilian videotape show police did not follow the department's general orders.

"They were on the hood of that truck and broke out that window. That is in complete violation of the law," Tatum said.

After the meeting, Councilmember Gyna Bivens reiterated her call for the bodycam videos to be released.

"I do want to see the video. I think the video needs to be released, and that's when we'll see truth," Bivens said.  

RELATED: Girlfriend of man killed in Fort Worth police shooting speaks out

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