Nika Nicole Holbert Tennessee black woman shot dead by Nashville Police Officer Josh Baker after traffic stop escalates to deadly shooting. Bodycam video released.
Dying over a bag of weed and nickel bag of white substance. Graphic bodycam video has been released showing a black Tennessee woman shot dead following a confrontation with a white Nashville cop during a ‘routine traffic stop’ escalating after the woman seemingly refusing to follow police officers.
The Friday morning encounter at a Nashville parking lot involved Metro Nashville Police Officer Josh Baker and Nika Nicole Holbert, 31. The incident left Holbert dying of gunshot wounds with Baker rushed to surgery after also incurring gunshot wounds. The officer is now in stable condition.
The Nashville Police Dept who released the video hours after the shooting, said Holbert was pulled over after Officer Baker noticed that the registered owner of the Chevrolet Camaro she was driving was wanted on several drug warrants. Demond Buchanan, 42, a convicted felon, was reported to be the owner of the car.
Holbert initially cooperated with Baker, having stepped towards the back of the vehicle. Video showed her as the single occupant of the vehicle.
Baker asks Holbert to ‘stop going through’ her purse, which she handed over to him upon the officer’s demand. During his search of her bag, Holbert is seen smoking and on the phone, speaking to someone she addresses as her mother.
‘I did nothing wrong’
Insisting that she had ‘done nothing wrong,’ the officer continues going through the woman’s bag, with Baker questioning Holbert about its contents. Moments later, Officer Baker seeks to place Holbert under arrest upon finding what appeared to be marijuana and a white powdery substance in her possession, police spokesman Don Aaron said in a video statement.
Holbert responds that she has done nothing wrong and that she is ‘not going to be arrested.’
Refusing to yield to the officer’s orders, Holbert who was standing by the side of the vehicle, lurches towards the driver’s side of the vehicle – with Baker ordering the woman to stop.
‘Ma’am, you’re about to get tased,’ Baker tells Holbert as she begins to run away as the officer tries to put her in handcuffs, video shows. ‘Get down! Get down on the ground!’
Having made her way inside the vehicle and refusing to get on the ground, Holbert tasers Baker. Video shows her in possession of a gun.
‘Ma’am, put the gun down!’ Baker says. ‘Put the gun down!’
Baker falls to the ground after being shot and calls for backup, telling a dispatcher ‘shots fired’ as Holbert drives off, the clip shows.
Social media responds
Holbert was later pronounced dead at a hospital, police said.
Baker, who was hit beneath his bullet-resistant vest, was in stable condition after undergoing surgery, WREG reported.
After the shooting, Holbert tossed a semi-automatic pistol into the parking lot, where it was later recovered, Aaron said. It continued to remain unclear how Holbert knew Buchanan, the registered owner of the vehicle she was driving. Buchanan who is wanted on at least six warrants continued to remain at large.
The video’s release led to some on social media questioning whether Holbert had the right to search Baker in the first place, while others questioned whether she was a victim of racism at the hands of a white police officer ‘eager to make an arrest’, while others called her shooting death, ‘murder.’
Holbert’s adoptive mother, Lisa Holbert-Gooch, told The Tennessean the 31-year-old was wrong for pulling a gun, while maintaining she was disturbed by the actions of the officer who shot her daughter dead.
The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and prosecutors from the Davidson County District Attorney’s Office are now reviewing the fatal shooting.
‘This investigation is at the early stages and will take time to complete,’ police spokesman Don Aarons said of the use-of-force probe.
Nashville’s mayor, John Cooper, said the confrontation is a reminder that being a ‘police officer anywhere can be a dangerous job,’ The Tennessean reported.
‘My thoughts and prayers are with Officer Baker and with the families of everyone involved,’ Cooper said in a statement.