In November, a Mt. Juliet Police Department officer was involved in a fatal shooting incident.
On Wednesday afternoon, the body cam footage from that incident was released.
Eric Jermaine Allen, 39, lost his life in an officer-involved shooting on Nov. 2. The incident began with a traffic stop that took place on Mt. Juliet Road, just north of its intersection with Central Pike.
At around 11 p.m. that night, the Sgt. Josh Lo leaned into the vehicle and ultimately entered the vehicle through the passenger side door when Allen moved into the driver’s side and began to drive off with Lo inside.
The vehicle traveled several hundred feet, with Lo repeatedly attempting to get Allen to stop the car, through requests, warnings and a taser deployment. The car stopped after a shot was fired, and officers attempted life-saving efforts before Allen succumbed to his injuries.
The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation has finished collecting all evidence and passed those materials over to the District Attorney General’s Office, which is waiting to receive the final documents to begin the review process.
“Once we get all of those documents in our possession, I’ll sit down with a team of senior prosecutors, and we’ll review the entire case,” District Attorney General Jason Lawson said. “Then, we’ll make decisions at that point in time.”
When the officer-involved shooting first occurred, there was immediately requests from news outlets for the body cam footage to be released.
“At that time, I told the news outlets that it was too premature in the investigation to release the body camera footage,” Lawson said. “At that point, I didn’t want to do anything by releasing that body camera footage and having that displayed that would compromise the investigation in any way.”
Lawson also said that delay in releasing the footage was out of respect to the family, whom he felt should have the opportunity to view it before seeing it on a news network.
“We reached out to the family of the person that was killed and asked them if they wanted to come and view the body camera footage privately,” Lawson said. “It’s just being respectful to them. I did not want them to first to see that on the news without having to see it privately for themselves.
“There were two showings. One was just with the deceased person’s mother, and the second one was with some other family members who wanted to see it as well.”
In the footage released on Wednesday, Lo pulled over a vehicle with a female driver, Allen and a dog inside due to speeding and a burnt-out headlight. After returning to his own vehicle to run the individuals’ identifications, Lo and another officer returned to the vehicle in question to retrieve the vehicle identification number.
After the woman exited the vehicle peacefully, Lo returned to the passenger-side window. Allen reached forward, and Lo told him to stop reaching. At that point, Allen showed him that he had nothing in his hands and rolled up the window.
Allen began to move around, and Lo opened up the vehicle door, leaning over to stop Allen from driving off. Moments later, the vehicle was moving with Lo still inside.
Lo warned Allen to the stop the car several times before firing a single shot. The vechile stopped soon after, at which which point Lo got out and requested an ambulance as he moved to the driver’s side.
After getting the driver’s-side door open, Lo pulled Allen from the vehicle. With the help of another officer, they got Allen out of the road and began chest compressions after finding that he had no pulse.
Lo has been with the department since 2016 and returned to work on Nov. 30, 2022, after a wellness period and a preliminary investigation.
“Next week, a team of prosecutors and myself are going to sit down and review the investigation, and we’re going to determine whether there are any additional steps that we believe need to be taken,” Lawson said.