A rally demanding the New Britain Police Department (NBPD) release a dash cam video of last December’s fatal shooting of a 20-year-old will be held in New Britain at 11 a.m. this Saturday.
Twenty-year-old Zoe Dowdell, an aspiring rapper also known as “Gangstalicious,” was killed by the NBPD on Dec. 14, 2017, while in a car with 18-year-old Noah Young and 15-year-old Caleb Tisdol, according to the Hartford Courant. The three individuals were suspected of being involved in a series of carjackings and robberies.
“Dowdell was behind the wheel of a car suspected in multiple carjackings and robberies when he struck police vehicles and drove toward officers in an attempt to flee as they tried to stop him, police have said. Officers opened fire, killing Dowdell and wounding 18-year-old and 15-year-old passengers,” the Courant said.
The rally, titled #Justice4ZoeCalebandNoah, is being held in an attempt to convince the NBPD to release the footage of Dowdell’s killing. It will begin at Columbus Boulevard and Chestnut Street in New Britain and will feature a march.
“(In) December 2017, New Britain Police killed Zoe (Gangstalicious) Dowdell. With his hands up, Caleb yelled at the police, ‘Stop shooting, you already killed (Zoe).’ They continued to reload and fire anyway,” a flyer for the event said. “Zoe’s parents have been denied by the police to see the footage of the killing of their son.”
William Tisdol, Caleb’s father, told Fox 61 news that he has seen the footage and said it proves the police tried to kill his son.
“(The police) said a whole bunch of things that I learned through the videotape that aren’t true,” Tisdol said. “When he arrives on the scene you can clearly see directly in front of his dash cam, the car is sitting still.”
Police said they tried to stop a teal Toyota Paseo driven by Dowdell after it hit several police vehicles while trying to flee the scene, according to Fox 61.
ACLU Connecticut Executive Director David McGuire called on the NBPD to immediately release the footage after the shooting, Fox 61 said.
“We live in a society with checks and balances and there’s no way to check the police unless the public is able to see this dash cam footage or body camera footage,” McGuire said.
University of Connecticut Youth for Socialist Action (YSA) member Ruwan Munasinghe has been promoting the event on behalf of the club and said he will be talking about the situation at Thursday’s YSA meeting.
Munasinghe disagrees with the police department’s decision to withhold the dash cam video, he said.
“I have been hanging out with Zoe’s parents a lot recently,” Munasinghe said. “Ever since (Zoe’s father) talked to me about not being given a full report on what happened to their son, I haven’t felt right. I just feel depressed.”
Gabriella Debenedictis is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.