Dashcam video still not released after Opelika shooting

Opelika police chief explains why dashcam video hasn’t been released
Michael Davidson, 20, was shot by an Opelika police officer during a traffic stop on March 6, 2014.
Michael Davidson, 20, was shot by an Opelika police officer during a traffic stop on March 6, 2014.

OPELIKA, AL (WTVM) - Four months after a shooting that injured an Airman, the police dashcam video that captured the incident still has not been released.

The shooting happened on March 6, when Airman Michael Davidson was passing through Opelika on his way to North Carolina for his next assignment.

Davidson's attorney says his client had just exited his car on I-85 to check on another driver who was involved in a minor accident. Officer Phillip Hancock was called to I-85 to pull over an erratic driver, and at some point he fired his service weapon, severely injuring Davidson.

Police confirm Davidson was not armed with a weapon, although they did find packets of suspected synthetic marijuana is his car. They have said Davidson will not face any charges.

Opelika's police chief maintains the shooting was a tragic incident. He says the ABI should wrap up its investigation next week and the chief had planned on releasing the tape then. However, Davidson filed a civil suit against the officer and the city. We asked Chief McEachern when he planned on releasing the tape.

"As quickly as we possibly can. But again keep in mind there has been civil action brought against the city of Opelika and the police officer and it will be up to the advice our attorney's," the chief said.

Chief McEachern says the video will probably not be released until the civil matter is concluded in an effort to not taint a possible jury, if the case does go to trial.

Shortly after the incident, Opelika Police Chief John McEachern said dashcam video of the shooting would be released after the investigation. However, Opelika police still have not released the video to the public.

In May a grand jury decided Officer Hancock should not face criminal charges, and he has returned to duty.

Meanwhile, Davidson's attorney says he is disappointed criminal charges were not brought against the officer and tells us the young Airman continues to recover from his injuries. He says they are the discovery phase of the civil proceedings, and the family looks forward to see all the evidence in the case, including the video as soon as possible.

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