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Family of man killed by Seattle police want justice under new state law

Family and friends of Iosia Faletogo speak in Seattle (KOMO Photo)

SEATTLE -- The family of a man shot and killed by Seattle police on New Year's Eve say they want justice under a new state law that makes it easier to prosecute police officers when deadly force is used.

Iosia Faletogo was killed on New Year's Eve by a Seattle Police officer after running from a pulled over car on Aurora Avenue. Body and dash cam videos released Thursday show five officers gave chase then tackle him. Police say Faletogo continued to struggle and had a gun.

Officers can be heard on the tape shouting: "Drop the gun or you are getting shot! You are going to get shot!"

(Note: Video below contains graphic content and has been edited to remove extreme graphic content)

Parts of the video above have been edited because of the graphic nature. Only one shot is heard on the video. SPD spokesman Sean Whitcomb told KOMO News the officer who fired the shot was a three-year department veteran, Officer Jared Keller.

"I never thought this would happen to me, (or) to his mom, but it has," Iosia's father Mane Faletogo said.

Mane Faletogo and his family were joined by others Friday whose loved ones were also shot and killed by Seattle Police, demanding a fair and transparent investigation under the new law that removes the malice clause, for prosecutors in deciding when to charge an officer.

On the video, Seattle Police investigators highlighted and circled the part of the video where they say Faletogo is holding a handgun.

But Andre Taylor, whose brother Che was shot and killed by Seattle police in 2016, claims the narrative is wrong about the gun.

"They didn't' know when he ran out the car," Taylor said. "The first thing they said was, 'If you don't stop we're going to shoot.' If they would have known at that time, it would have been, 'Gun! He has a gun!"

Taylor said he believes there's a pattern.

"Yes, some of the most high-profile shootings are from North Precinct and we have some sort of issue," he said.

During the investigation, officers discovered Iosia Faletogo was carrying $1,160 and a vial containing 263 pills with the code for oxycodone stamped into them. The pills have been tested and tested positive for fentanyl and acetaminophen. The car is currently in police custody and will be searched when a warrant is issued. Investigators also determined the gun found at the scene was stolen.

Faletogo's dad says he didn't want to watch the video but did see part of it. He also said they haven't been able to see their son yet.

"I talked to the cemetery and they said they had to reconstruct part of his face," Mane Faletogo said.

Iosia Faletogo had two sons, ages 2 and 4.

"We need to do something," Mane Faletogo said. My son had two boys and when I see them last night. Who they ask for? Their father."

Keller is now on administrative leave as is standard procedure in any officer-involved shooting.

An adult female was in the car at the time of the traffic stop. She was interviewed by detectives and released.

The six other officers involved have also been interviewed by detectives.

Editor's Note: You can watch the full, unedited version of the body cam video at the Seattle Police YouTube link. It contains extreme graphic content.

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