Family of Ricky Boyd calls for body cam video to be released

Family of Ricky Boyd calls for body cam video to be released
(Source: WTOC)

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - The family of Ricky Boyd plans to silently protest at Thursday's City Council meeting. They're demanding that police release body camera video.

Officers shot Boyd back in January. They were serving him murder warrants on a shooting that happened days earlier. The family says the body cam video will show whether they acted justly in shooting Boyd. The family contends Boyd came out of the house without a gun. Police maintain Boyd had a gun and refused to put it down.

Wednesday, Boyd's mother and the family attorney called on the city to release the video from the shooting. Showing up at Thursday's council meeting is the next thing they're doing.

"The message that we're sending to the city of Savannah is to release the body cam," said Boyd's mother, Jameillah Smiley.

Five members of Boyd's family have seen that video. They have not changed their tune about what they say it shows.

"All five of them have indicated that the video shows no firearm, no object, nothing that could look like an object," attorney, Will Claiborne said. "This is an incredibly painful video for family members to have to see, their son shot down and killed by law enforcement. The family is the one that wants this video to be released. The family wants the truth, and the truth to be told. It's the city that's stopping that from happening."

Right now, the district attorney's office is reviewing the case file from the GBI. State Senator Lester Jackson wants the U.S. Department of Justice to look that over. The family's attorney explains why.

"To ask this district attorney to make a decision about prosecuting a witness whose testimony they rely on day in and day out, quite frankly, asks too much," Claiborne said.

The district attorney disagrees, saying they present their cases to the grand jury based on facts. Meg Heap's office adds they had nothing to do with this investigation. Ultimately, they say they want justice for Boyd. Thursday will be a peaceful demonstration.

"Just to let the public know that my son did not commit these things that the city of Savannah is asking," Smiley said.

"We want his name cleared," Claiborne said. "Ricky Boyd did not commit the Hudson Hill homicide. Ricky Boyd did not have a firearm in his hand when he exited the house on Jan. 23. Ricky Boyd did not initiate gunfire. Ricky Boyd did not shoot the sergeant on scene that morning. All of these things have been said by the city of Savannah or by the interim police chief and none of them are true."

WTOC met with Senator Jackson Wednesday afternoon. He says he would even like to sit down with Boyd's family and police to watch the body cam footage and truly see if things add up.

"I don't know why the video had not been released and I don't know who's holding it up. I don't think this community will ever be really comfortable until the video is released," he said.

Both Boyd's mother and attorney Claiborne agree that this move is the right one.

"I think that's the right move and we're going to go forward."

"We are honored Senator Jackson has called for there to be a federal investigation. We think that's the right thing to do, and we call on Meg Heap to voluntarily relinquish this investigation and to give it to the Department of Justice," Clairborne said.

Early Wednesday morning, Al Sharpton shared a recent interview with PBS News Hour on Twitter. We're told Ms. Smiley cried when she saw the tweet.

A city spokesperson says the city is aware of the plans for council on Thursday but had nothing else to say. Police say the homicide case Boyd was connected to is still open.

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