VIDEO: Aurora police release body cam of officer shooting man at home; lawyer says cops misleading the public

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Screen shot from Aurora Police body cam video. The video depicts police approaching a home in the dark. When they see a man inside holding a shotgun, they open fire and shoot the man in the back, through the window.

AURORA | Aurora police on Thursday night released some  body camera footage from an officer who shot a 22-year-old man through the front window of his home last month.

For weeks, Aurora police have said the man who was shot, Andy Huff, knew police were in his front yard when he retrieved a pistol-grip shotgun and faced officers while holding the weapon. Huff’s family and attorney have adamantly rebutted that claim, saying Huff could not decipher who was outside of his home at 1570 S. Bahama St. and believed it was a roommate who had returned to exact revenge following an argument.

The body camera footage shows Officer Alexander Ord tell Huff “put your hands up, put your hands up — gun,” before firing five shots at Huff.

A lawyer for Huff balked at what he said is a police effort to mislead the public.

“The Huff family is aware of the video released by (Deputy) Chief Paul O’Keefe, and they are deeply troubled by the continued attempts to depict Andy Huff as a criminal who was arming himself against the police,” Huff’s attorney Birk Baumgartner said. “Chief O’Keefe knows that this is not true.”

In the video, it takes officers about 90 seconds to walk up the street to the house. Once they arrive there, the incident plays out in about 20 seconds.

Police said they were responding to the Huff home at about 11:30 p.m. on Oct. 10 to follow-up on an assault that investigators have alleged occurred between Huff, his older brother and their former room mate earlier in the day. Huff has been charged with assault and menacing in connection with the alleged assault. 

O’Keefe said police saw Huff run from the street into his home as officers approached. 

“As they approached the house in full uniform, Mr. Huff fled back into the home,” O’Keefe said in a video statement.

Huff cannot be seen running in the body camera footage, though one officer says “he’s gone” while walking toward the home. 

In the footage, Officer Erica Marrero pauses in Huff’s driveway and waves toward him through his window. Huff simultaneously ducks out of view, at which point Marrero says: “Well, that makes me uncomfortable.”

As Marrero knocks on Huff’s front door, Ord, standing in the front yard several feet away, fires five times. Neither Marrero nor Ord verbally identified themselves as police prior to the shooting.

Huff’s wife, young daughter, brother and brother’s girlfriend were all inside the home at the time of the shooting. One of those witnesses later told police in a recorded interview that they told Huff “there’s cops in our yard.” Huff then replied “Oh my God” and grabbed the shotgun, police said.

In a portion of a call between Huff and 911 dispatchers, Huff says, “I think it was the cops, I don’t know who it was. I just got shot. Help me.”

At a press conference held two weeks after the shooting, O’Keefe said, “There is no doubt in my mind that Mr. Huff knew it was the police that were there and (he) went and grabbed that firearm anyway.”

Baumgartner said the edited evidence makes clear police are trying to purposely mislead the public on what happened.

He said there was no way for Huff to know who was outside his window at 11:30 p.m. since police never called nor announced themselves. He said photos he took from inside the house at night make it obvious Huff could not have seen officers in the dark.

“Chief O’Keefe’s manipulation of the body-worn camera video at the precise moment that Officer Ord shot Andy in the back is a particularly disturbing indication of Mr. O’Keefe’s failure to understand the seriousness of this incident,” Baumgartner said in a statement. Baumgartner says video he’s posted on his law firm website is unedited and paints a different picture of what happened that night.

Video from Andy Huff’s lawyer, Birk Baumgartner, who said this was obtained from prosectors and is unedited.

Video from Andy Huff’s lawyer, Birk Baumgartner, who said this was obtained from prosectors and is unedited.

Video from Andy Huff’s lawyer, Birk Baumgartner, who said this was obtained from prosectors and is unedited.

“Additionally, Chief O’Keefe’s statement that Andy told someone in the house that police were in the yard is intentionally taken out of context and is a part of a larger and misguided effort to publicly humiliate and smear an honest young man who was just protecting his family. The citizens of Aurora deserve better from their Chief of Police, and it is time for Mr. O’Keefe to step down from his position.”

Huff’s mother, Christine McGhee agreed that police misrepresented what happened.

“My son did not know it was the police in his front yard,” she said. “ … He thought it was the roommate coming back to harm them and everyone in the home can tell you they did not know the police were there.”

Huff was shot in the buttocks and sustained serious injuries to his digestive system, according to family members. He remains hospitalized, according to Baumgartner.

Baumgartner, has called for the Arapahoe County District Attorney to criminally charge Ord.

“We are demanding that the district attorney press charges on this officer that shot (Huff) in the back,” he said last month. “You cannot sneak up on a law-abiding citizen and shoot them in the back in their own home without any repercussions.”

Per standard protocols, the case has been handed to the district attorney’s office for review.

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