Featured photo: Attorney Harry Daniels speaking at a press conference about Nasanto Crenshaw on April 12, 2023. (screenshot)

On Wednesday afternoon, the attorneys for the family of Nasanto Crenshaw told a group of reporters that video footage they reviewed showed Crenshaw being shot as he was “turning away” from Greensboro Police Officer ML Sletten.

As TCB has reported in the past, Crenshaw was shot and killed by Sletten on Aug. 21, 2022 after Crenshaw was stopped in a parking lot near Super G Mart in Greensboro. Crenshaw was 17-years-old and was found to be driving a stolen car.

Wakiety Doriety, Crenshaw’s mother, is being represented by attorneys Harry Daniels, John Burris and Chimeaka White in a civil wrongful death lawsuit.

Nasanto Antonio Crenshaw

After reviewing footage, Guilford County District Attorney Avery Crump, failed to prosecute Sletten but Daniels and Burris told reporters on Wednesday that she should have looked at the evidence with a sharper eye.

“We wanted to go see the same evidence and review the same evidence that the district attorney received,” Daniels said during the press conference. “I think that’s good lawyering…. And we saw this evidence… This is a clear case of an unlawful killing. It’s not even close.”

Last week, a superior court judge announced that they had granted permission to release footage to the public by April 25. Daniels said the footage could be released as early as next week.

In it, Daniels said that viewers will be able to see that Crenshaw was driving away from and past Sletten when the officer fired three shots at the moving car. The third shot hit Crenshaw through the passenger window, killing him on site.

During the press conference Daniels and Burris demonstrated to reporters the positioning of both Sletten, who was out of his patrol car, and the car that Crenshaw was driving when he was shot. Multiple times, the attorneys said that Crenshaw was shot after he had already turned the car away from Sletten and gone past him.

“Nasanto starts to turn his car to the left,” Daniels said. “At the time when the car starts to turn to the left, the officer is not in its trajectory. In fact, he’s almost protected by the back of his vehicle. He easily could have moved out of the way or anything. But Duke was not coming in his trajectory path.”

Attorneys said that when Officer Sletten shot Crenshaw, he was about 10-12 feet away from the car and it was moving slowly, maybe 11 miles per hour.

“We’re not here to argue this case in the court of public opinion,” Daniels said. “…. But we’re not going to allow a narrative to be put out there that’s simply not true…. You don’t have to take my word for it. The video speaks for itself.”

The attorneys also stated that one of the juveniles in the car with Crenshaw, who was sitting in the passenger seat at the time, pleaded with Sletten after he shot and killed his friend.

“He literally was looking back at the officer the whole time, saying, ‘Please don’t shoot me, please don’t shoot me,’ after he had just shot and killed his friend,” Daniels said.

Images and audio of minors may be blurred out or silenced in the version of the footage released to the public later this month.

Given that the local district attorney did not seek to indict Officer Sletten, the attorneys for the Crenshaw family have sent a letter to the Department of Justice asking the entity to look into the case. The department has received the letter but the attorneys have not heard back yet, they said.

Nasanto Crenshaw is just one of many Black and Brown people who have been killed while unarmed by the police in the Triad. Harry Daniels has also represented the family of Andrew Brown who was killed in Elizabeth City in April 2021. His family won a $3 million in June 2022. John Burris represented Rodney King in his civil rights lawsuit, eventually winning King $3.8 million in a suit against the LA Police Department.

When asked if he and the family are seeking a certain amount in damages for Crenshaw’s killing, Daniels said that there is no specific amount being asked for.

In February 2022, the family of Marcus Deon Smith, who was hogtied by Greensboro police officers in 2018, won a $2.57 million settlement after years of litigation.

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