Footage showing the moment a TV crew member was accidentally shot dead by officers while filming a police documentary has been made public as part of a lawsuit brought by his family.

Sound technician Bryce Dion, 38, died after he was struck by a bullet as police fired at a robber in fast-food restaurant in Nebraska.

The crew were filming the officers for the TV series Cops when Dion was shot in April 2014.

He was wearing a bullet-proof vest but was hit in the armpit, which was unprotected, after three officers opened fire in the Wendy's restaurant in Omaha.

The robber, Cortez Washington, 32, was also shot dead. He was armed with a pellet gun which police said officers believed was a real firearm.

The video was played in court on Tuesday during a hearing about a wrongful-death lawsuit brought by the sound technician's brother Trevor Dion. The legal action accuses the police of negligence.

"Bryce positioned himself where told, when told, and acted in accord with police officer instructions," the lawsuit reads.

A sound technician has been killed during recording of reality cop show.
A sound technician has been killed during recording of reality cop show.

The footage, filmed by Cops cameraman Michael Lee, shows two officers travelling with the crew in a police car when they receive a radio alert about a robbery in progress at a nearby branch of Wendy's.

The officers are seen drawing their weapons as they enter the burger chain, followed by the film crew.

They fire repeated rounds at the hooded Washington, who points his pellet gun at officers before attempting to escape through the door.

Dion is then seen slumped against a wall near the doorway, having before caught in the crossfire.

"Bryce, are you all right?" says the cameraman. "Stay with me, man. Stay with me."

The dramatic footage will be a "critical piece of evidence" during a trial in July, according to the Dion family's legal team.

"It's probably the best piece of evidence to show the conduct of everyone involved," lawyer Christian Williams told the Omaha World-Herald. "It's very chilling, and it shows a very unnecessary situation that led to the death of a filmmaker."

Omaha police chief Todd Schmaderer defended his officers following Dion's death. All three were later cleared by a grand jury.

"When they encountered the suspect and gunfire ensued, and Mr Washington is on his way out, they are returning fire and Bryce is in the vestibule and gets struck by a round," he told NBC in the days following the shooting.

"This was as if we've lost one of our own," he added. "I haven't slept since this happened."

City of Omaha authorities deny negligence and have filed a motion for the case to be dismissed.

A judge at Douglas County district court rejected the city's request to bar the release of the video and ruled it should be made public.

Dion is the only crew member to have been seriously injured during the filming of 30 series of Cops, which first aired in 1989.

Mr Schmaderer had invited programme makers to Omaha in an effort to build public trust in police, and the crew had been embedded with officers for about a month before Dion's death.



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