Video released of fatal police shooting of Canterbury man
Heavily edited videos of a fatal police shooting were released by state authorities Friday, showing the minutes leading up to the death of a Canterbury man but stopping short of showing the moment two officers opened fire or what happened immediately after the shooting.
The state Attorney General’s office ruled the July 6 shooting a justified use of force by officers after reviewing the video, but did not release them to the public after family members of Hagen Esty-Lennon fought against their release. A Concord judge ruled the videos could be released but should be edited so as not to show the shooting or immediate aftermath.
In the videos, Haverhill officers Ryan Jarvis and Greg Collins can be seen rushing to a report of a man with a self-inflicted stab wound with a knife on the side of the road in Bath.
When Collins arrives, he orders Esty-Lennon to show his hands. Esty-Lennon refuses, keeping his hands in his pockets before taking out a knife.
“Come here, can I see your hands?” Collins shouts as Esty-Lennon walks toward him, then: “...Put the knife down.”
He initially walks toward police as they back up, then turns to run away. But when Jarvis and Collins start to give chase, Esty-Lennon turns around to charge at the officers. He appears to trip, falling toward the officers just before the video is cut off.
Authorities also provided unredacted audio of the entire incident. In the audio, Collins can be heard talking to another emergency responder about how Esty-Lennon was dead minutes after the shooting. In their official report, the Attorney General’s office said he wasn’t declared dead until being taken to Cottage Hospital in Woodsville.
The audio recording also includes what sounds like Esty-Lennon’s labored breathing as he is handcuffed and searched by police.
The Union Leader Corp., along with other media outlets, sued for the release of the video. The town of Haverhill supported the release, but the Attorney General’s office suggested redacting the video in a court order. A judge sided with their recommendations, ordering the video to be released Friday afternoon.
In an emergency motion Friday, Esty-Lennon’s ex-wife asked Supreme Court justices to reconsider their decision to allow release of the video, arguing there was no urgency in releasing the video and that it would be “particularly cruel” for the video to be released Friday, on what would have been Esty-Lennon’s 42nd birthday.
The Supreme Court denied the appeal.
“...No points of law or fact were overlooked or misapprehended in the court’s order denying the motion,” the court wrote.
The redacted videos can be seen below: