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WATCH: CPD releases body camera video from fatal Covington shooting

2 officers fired shots, killing murder suspect
CPD  body camera video from fatal Covington shooting
Posted at 11:00 AM, Apr 14, 2022

COVINGTON, Ky. — On Thursday, Cincinnati police provided an update on a shooting that happened April 11 in which Cincinnati officers shot and killed a man in Covington and showed body camera footage from both officers involved.

Cincinnati Interim Police Chief Teresa Theetge held an initial press conference Tuesday morning, in accordance with the collaborative agreement made more than 20 years ago. During that conference, Theetge said officer Charles Knapp and police specialist Mark Longworth are the two officers who fired their guns, shooting and killing 20-year-old Ali Coulter.

The body camera footage released Thursday is from Longworth and Knapp. At the beginning of the video, Knapp is walking between two houses and enters the back yard of a home where Coulter can be seen running through the backyard. Coulter hops a fence and Knapp turns around, running back toward the street. He sprints down the sidewalk to a home a few doors down and Coulter can be seen running toward the street from between two houses.

In one hand, Coulter appears to hold a gun, but he is not pointing it at officers. After ordering him to drop the gun, Knapp quickly fires multiple shots at Coulter, who drops to the ground. Other officers render emergency aid while Longworth and Knapp retreat — per CPD protocol, Theetge said — but Coulter appears to be unresponsive.

The body camera footage is below, stitched together to show both of the firing officers' vantage points.. That video was edited to withhold the video of the moment Coulter was shot and killed. It is graphic in nature and viewer discretion is advised.

Longworth's body camera video shows Knapp chasing Coulter through the yard and to the fence. Longworth follows Knapp back to the street, running behind him along the sidewalk. When Coulter emerges from between two homes, Knapp is ahead of Longworth, closer to Coulter. Longworth also has his gun drawn and fires shots.

Both videos end showing Coulter lying in the front yard of a home as officers administer oxygen and emergency aid.

After the body camera footage was shown in the press conference, Kentucky Commonwealth's Attorney Rob Sanders took to Twitter to say he believes the release of the footage will prejudice the Kentucky State Police investigation. In the tweet, he said CPD was instructed not to release the footage and called the decision to do so a "flagrant & arrogant disregard for KY law."

Cincinnati Interim Police Chief Teresa Theetge held an initial press conference Tuesday morning, in accordance with the collaborative agreement made more than 20 years ago. During that conference, Theetge said officer Charles Knapp and police specialist Mark Longworth are the two officers who fired their guns, shooting and killing 20-year-old Ali Coulter.

The officers were part of CPD's Fugitive Apprehension Squad, which was in Covington to speak with a Coulter's family. Theetge said Coulter was a suspect in the shooting death of Christian Jones in Cincinnati in April. Jones was found shot to death inside his vehicle in East Price Hillon April 6.

CPD said Coulter ran outside with a loaded gun when officers arrived at a family member's home. Police said officers were "forced to utilize their training to stop a threat" when Coulter continued forward and ignored commands to drop his gun.

In a statement, CPD said some of the Fugitive Apprehension Squad members were in plain clothes but all wore body cameras that were activated when the shooting happened.

Kentucky State Police, the agency investigating the shooting, said Coulter was taken to St. Elizabeth's Hospital where he later died.

Theetge said both officers have been involved in shootings before.

Longworth joined CPD in July 1998. Records show Longworth fired nine shots at Donta Williams in 2005. Police said Williams pointed a sawed-off shotgun at him and officer Rick Hoskins while they were on bike patrol on East McMillan Street. Williams was hit twice. He did not die.

Knapp joined CPD in March 2004. Police said Knapp shot 18-year-old Addison Alexander in 2009 after Alexander reportedly pointed a loaded revolver at him. Police said officers approached Alexander as he matched the description of a robbery suspect from earlier that night. Addison was taken to the hospital where he underwent surgery.

In August 2011, police said Knapp shot 23-year-old Christopher Foster seven times in the chest, leg and head. CPD said Foster pulled out a handgun and began shooting at Knapp when the officer confronted him. Knapp, who was on a bicycle, returned fire. The shooting sparked multiple investigations. James Craig, the police chief at the time, said initial reports showed Knapp was acting in accordance with police policy. Foster recovered from the shooting.

In November 2006, a bystander sued Longworth and the City of Cincinnati.

“This case is about the reckless and grossly negligent shooting of an innocent bystander by Cincinnati Police Officer, and the failure of the City to properly monitor, supervise or train the Officer,” reads the lawsuit. The suit claims a woman was working on East McMillan St. when she heard gunfire. The document said she turned the lights off in her salon and ordered everyone to hide. The document said when the shots stopped, the woman realized she had been shot in the leg.

The lawsuit claims Longworth fired nine shots, and five of them entered the salon. It says Longworth should have known innocent bystanders were directly in his line of fire.

A court document from 2009 stated a trial court ruled in favor of the city and concluded the city was immune from liability. The document states Longworth is also entitled to immunity. In the document, Judge J. Painter concurred, writing, “What else was Officer Longworth to do? A guy points a shotgun right at you at 2:00 a.m. You shoot.”

You can watch the full press conference below (NOTE: WCPO chose to pan away from the body camera footage to avoid showing a man shot to death during our live stream):