Greensboro Police Release Graphic Video of Officer Killing Vietnamese Woman

By Sameer Rao May 12, 2016

We reported Tuesday (May 10) on the decision to release body camera footage of Greensboro, North Carolina, ex-officer Timothy "T.J." Bloch killing Chieu Di Thi Vo in 2014. Vo, a Vietnamese woman whose family says she had bipolar disorder, died when Bloch responded to a 911 call and subsequently shot her. 

That footage was released yesterday (May 11). The clip of Bloch shooting Vo appears at about 19:30 mark of the Greensboro Police Department (GPD) press conference video, which you can watch here. Triad City Beat published a condensed video featuring just the relevant body camera footage, which you can see here.

The Triad City Beat also described the 911 call in an article accompanying the video, saying that the caller reported "a little Filipino woman … chasing her mother with a meat cleaver." 

Police chief Wayne Scott attributed a portion of the video where viewers can only see the sky—obscuring much of the disputed action that might otherwise prove or disprove misconduct—to Bloch pushing up his glasses, which is where the camera was located: 

Scott said the video image went towards the sky when Bloch stepped out of his car because he pushed his glasses up. The chief went on to say that when Bloch, who was accompanied by the 911 caller, encountered Vo, he initially retreated.

"As he was retreating his glasses fell back down," Scott said. "We asked him in the investigation: ‘Did you pull them down?’ Quite honestly, his reply was, ‘I don’t remember.’"

Scott also said that the the State Bureau of Investigation and Guilford County District Attorney’s Office, both of whom cleared Bloch of any wrongdoing, stand by their decision. Bloch resigned from the force in 2015. 

Greensboro City Council made the video public after prompting from Vo’s family, which released an official statement Sunday (May 8) disputing claims that Bloch acted correctly. While Vo was holding a knife and Bloch testified on Monday that Vo lunged at him, her family saw the video as proof of an unnecessary shooting:

After viewing the video with our own eyes, we strongly believe that what we saw and heard simply do not match with the GPD’s initial assessment of what happened—we did not see Chieu Di lunging at Officer Bloch, we did not hear Chieu Di yell anything in Vietnamese at former officer Bloch, and Chieu Di was not physically threatening her mother.