Askew Shot By Police While Holding A Cigar In His Right Hand
That’s how many times two police officers fired shots at a Memphis man asleep in his car after they say he pulled a gun on them.
New information has just been released by Memphis Police Internal Affairs on the death of Steven Askew.
In January, Askew was asleep in his car on Knight Arnold waiting for his girlfriend to come home when police shot and killed him.
Askew’s family attorney says the internal affairs report helps his case and not the city’s.
While the file shows that Askew might have been drunk and did have a gun in his car, Attorney Howard Manis believes one piece of evidence shouldn’t be overlooked.
“Mr. Askew is right-handed and in his right hand was found a cigar,” he said.
Manis believes it’s a critical detail, if you want know who is to blame for Askew’s death.
“It draws into question whether he ever even pointed a gun at all.”
In MPD’s internal affairs file, police say Askew was asleep in his car with a gun between his legs.
When Officer Ned Aufdenkamp knocked on his window with a flashlight, they say Askew made something that looked like a gang sign, pointed his fingers like a gun, and eventually reached for the real one.
Police say Askew pointed the gun at Aufdenkamp and that’s when he and his partner, Officer Matthew Dyess, started firing.
“We know that each one of them shot 11 times,” said Manis.
Twenty-two rounds went into Askew’s car and nine entered his body.
Manis says it was overkill.
“It is undisputed that Askew never fired his weapon.”
However, an autopsy report shows Askew was legally drunk and investigators found a beer can, a cognac bottle and other hard alcohol in his car.
Manis says being drunk would not have been enough to change the character of a man, who was never in a gang and who wanted to be an airplane mechanic.
“This was a law-abiding citizen with no criminal history with a handgun carry permit who was asleep in his car.”
Family members say he had that gun because he had been robbed before.
Also in the file, a witness says she heard police officers asking Askew to raise his hands at least three times. She says she saw him raise his hands but didn’t see what he did with them after that.