VIDEO: Body cam captures tense moments before Americus officer killed

EDITORS NOTE

The Georgia Bureau of Investigations has released video of the moments leading up the fatal encounter that lead to the deaths of Americus Police officer Nicholas Smarr and his best friend, Georgia Southwestern State University police officer Jody Smith. 

Smarr died Dec. 7 responding to a domestic violence call. Police say Minquell Kennedy Lembrick, a suspect with a lengthy history of arrests and convictions, shot Smarr and then Smith. Police say Smith was shot trying to render aid to Smarr. Smith died the following day. 

Some might find this video disturbing. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has chosen to publish a lightly edited version of it to provide the public with greater insight into police encounters and the judgments that are required in these tense situations. Many police departments are equipping officers with body cameras such as the one Smith is wearing in order to provide greater transparency of these sometimes fatal encounters. 

Smith and Smarr are the sixth and seventh police officers shot to death in Georgia this year, more than double the number of officers shot in the line of duty in the state in 2015. 

Jody Smith (left) was critically injured and Nicholas Smarr was killed Wednesday in a shooting in Americus. (Credit: Channel 2 Action News)
Photo: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Related: Emotions raw as second Americus officer is laid to rest

Related: Fatal shooting of Americus officer continues a deadly trend for police

Related: Americus, site of double cop-shooting, is small but highly significant 

Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.

Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.