The Curious Case of Courtland Benjamin: Cops Won't Release Video of Gunned Down Student

Photo: Benjamin Court Smith.

ASHEBORO, N.C. (CBS/AP) A 911 call is supposed to bring help, but University of North Carolina student Courtland Benjamin Smith's desperate call ended in his own death at the hands of police.

What exactly transpired the night of Aug. 23, 2009 is not entirely clear. Police have released two tapes of the 911 call for help Smith made while driving his car. In the recordings, Smith says he is drunk and has a gun. In another passage he says he is suicidal.

Police eventually tracked him down and stopped him. 35 seconds later he was shot to death, according to police radio traffic.

Now, a North Carolina judge has refused to release police video of the shooting that might shed light on the confrontation Smith had with police. Superior Court Judge Brad Long ruled Monday that releasing the video would jeopardize a possible criminal investigation into the shooting.

Several media outlets asked the judge to release the video from dashboard cameras on two Archdale police cruisers that captured the events on Interstate 85 in Randolph County.

For now, the answer is no.

911 Call to Guilford Metro - Aug. 23, 2009

August 27, 2009 - 911: N.C. Student Was Armed and Suicidal Before Cops Killed Him
August 26, 2009 - Smart, Happy, Upbeat, Dead: N.C. Student Shot by Police