- Associated Press - Tuesday, September 1, 2015

HAVERHILL, N.H. (AP) - A New Hampshire town, its police department and the state division of the American Civil Liberties Union are seeking the release of video footage of the fatal shooting of a man by police in Bath.

The footage was set to be released last month, but a judge delayed it after the attorney for the man’s ex-wife and children filed a petition to halt the public release of the video, which shows the shooting of 42-year-old Hagan Etsy-Lennon of Canterbury.

Their attorney, Peter McGrath, noted Esty-Lennon’s two minor children and described the videos as “very graphic, violent, bloody and upsetting.”

The attorney general’s office, after reviewing the videotapes, had deemed the shooting by the two Haverhill police officers to be justified. The images, taken July 6, show Esty-Lennon lunging at the officers with a knife moments before he was shot.

An attorney for the town of Haverhill, its police department and the officers says disclosing the videotapes will show why the officer’s actions were justified.

The New Hampshire branch of the American Civil Liberties Union on Tuesday also filed a court brief seeking the video’s release to news media outlets.

Organizations such as the Concord Monitor, the Valley News, the Union Leader Corp., WMUR-TV and NH1 News have petitioned the court for the videos, including footage from body cameras worn by officers Ryan Jarvis and Greg Collins, footage from a camera mounted to a cruiser dashboard, and body camera footage from a third officer who arrived later.

“While the privacy interests raced by Mr. Esty-Lennon’s family are real and should be carefully balanced by the court, the public’s competing interest in seeing uniquely reliable evidence of the law enforcement response to a person apparently in severe emotional distress, is stronger,” the ACLU wrote.

Tuesday was the deadline for lawyers to file arguments in the case.

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