Video Shows Policewoman Fatally Shooting Man After Mistaking Black Marker For Knife, Cops Say

(Screenshot/YouTube/@Denver Police)

Kate Hirzel Contributor
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A Denver police officer apparently shot and killed an unarmed man after mistaking a black marker for a knife during an alleged domestic violence incident, according to a video posted Monday.

Newly released body-worn camera footage from Denver Police Department (DPD) shows the unidentified officer shooting the victim. The policewoman reportedly thought Brandon Cole, 36, was holding a knife when he was rushing towards her, according to the Denver Post. However, 36-year-old Brandon Cole was actually holding a black marker, which he raised to chest level as he advanced toward the officer.

On August 5th, around 8 p.m., a concerned neighbor called 911 to report a potential domestic violence situation involving Cole, his wife and their teenage son, the Denver Post reported. The caller reportedly said someone might’ve pushed a woman from her wheelchair and addressed Cole’s alleged aggressive behavior towards his son. (RELATED: ‘I Just Lost It’: Judge Accused Of Murdering His Wife Allegedly Texted Staff Saying He Shot Her)

As DPD arrived, a woman sitting next to a wheelchair told one officer, “Don’t, don’t pull your gun out on my husband, please,” according to the body camera footage. The video shows Cole apparently hiding the marker, which may have lead officers to mistakenly believe Cole was armed with a knife.

Cole moved towards an officer and was hit with a Taser, but DPD believe only one probe of the Taser struck him, per the Denver Post. Cole then turned and charged at another officer who apparently fired two shots, ending Cole’s life. The footage shows a woman and child standing directly behind Cole during the incident. 

“You can see in the video that when she finally deploys her duty weapon, the person is so close to her that the view of the young child and other person are not even clear to her,” Denver Police Chief Ron Thomas said, according to the Denver Post. 

“Certainly that was a consideration, but there was not much time to act before she was overrun by that individual.”