WEST MEMPHIS, Ark. — New details are emerging about the moments leading up to a man jumping off Interstate 55 to his death on April 17.
Dashcam video released by West Memphis Police shows that after being giving verbal commands, a driver climbs from the front seat to the back and eventually jumps out the back window.
Leading up to this, West Memphis Police say the man, Darrin Woodard, was loitering at a hotel. That’s why they were called out.
At some point, they say Woodard almost ran over an Arkansas state trooper, sparking the police pursuit.
West Memphis mayor Marco McClendon tells WREG the city decided to release the video to the public after false allegations were made about how Woodard died.
He hopes releasing the video increases trust between police and the community.
“We have had issues, and we have had some issues that may been questionable, but right now we need the community support,” McClendon said. “In order to get their support, we need to be able to have the evidence on our side to show that we done what was right.”
The mayor says West Memphis Police does not chase for misdemeanor offenses. In this case, they were playing a supporting role for state police that ultimately turned deadly.
Prior to the release of the video, McClendon watched it with Woodard’s family.
“Even his daughter was in that meeting, and she was able to see it. I just think it was a lot of relief for them cause once they saw what people had been saying and speculating,” McClendon said.
Regarding the investigation, McClendon says that it has wrapped up, and it was determined there was no wrongdoing by officers.