More than two months after a California police officer was filmed shooting an unarmed man in the neck following a car wreck, he has finally been charged with involuntary manslaughter.
In November, 26-year-old Andrew Thomas left a bar with his headlights off and was tailed by Paradise police officer Patrick Feaster, who suspected him of drunk driving.
During the drive, Thomas struck the median and rolled his SUV. His wife was ejected from the vehicle and died at the scene.
Dash-cam footage recorded of the incident shows Feaster walking up to the wreck as Thomas tries to climb out of the SUV. Feaster is then seen immediately pulling out his gun and shooting him as be pops up out of the passenger side window.
Thomas was unarmed, posed no threat to the officer and was initially paralyzed by the shot which nearly severed his spinal cord. He would later die in the hospital from his injuries.
In the aftermath of the shooting, Feaster failed to tell dispatchers that he had opened fire. A shell casings was found at the scene but the cop can be seen in the footage searching the ground in an apparent attempt to find the evidence.
It was ultimately left to Thomas to tell other officers that he had been shot. It wasn’t until eleven minutes after the shooting that Feaster finally admitted he had fired his weapon.
Watch the raw footage:
Feaster claimed the shot was an accidental discharge and Butte County District Attorney Mike Ramsey refused to file charges against him following the incident. After protests and public pressure however, Ramsey reopened the investigation when Thomas died in the hospital in December.
Earlier this week, Feaster was fired from the department and on Wednesday, he was charged with involuntary manslaughter. He appeared in court, where he entered no plea and was released on his own recognizance.
He is scheduled to return to court in two weeks.