WALLACE, N.C. (WNCT) — Attorney Ben Crump was in Wallace on Wednesday for a press conference where he demanded the release of video footage in the death of James Lanier.

Crump was joined by members of the victim’s family along with additional attorneys, members of the Duplin County NAACP and others who spoke and kept the chant of “release the video.”

“Don’t say no more, release the video, don’t say no more, release the video,” Crump said as others joined in his chant.

Crump, a nationally renowned civil rights and personal injury attorney, and the others spoke at Adoram Baptist Church in Wallace during the press conference. Together, they demanded the release of footage in the death of Lanier, an unarmed Black man who was shot and killed outside the Express Mini Market at 814 N. Norwood St. around 11 p.m. on Feb. 24.

Lanier was naked and disturbing customers, the store owner said, at the time of the incident. Several have said Lanier was suffering from a mental situation at the time.

Officers with the Wallace Police Department responded and, according to video surveillance, Lanier pushed the officer and continued to move closer after being repeatedly told to back off. The officer tased Lanier but it appeared to have no impact on him.

James Lanier (Contributed photo)

“Just understand this thing. I’m trying to say we are trying to save our race and all this stuff. The officer incited race when he shot and killed a black man with a mental health crisis,” Crump said.

District Attorney Ernie Lee said when he announced his decision in May that the video would not be made available for the public to see. The family released a statement on May 23 and, on May 31, retained Crump and Blagrove.

“James should be with us,” said Dawn Blagrove, an attorney with Emancipate NC. “And we’re not asking that general had been treated with special care. We’re just asking that he be treated with the same care.”

Family members said they are pushing for the video footage to be made public so people can make their own opinions on the incident.

“I need somebody to help me find justification for them shooting my son, so I want everybody to watch the video so they can show me what I see,” said James Lanier Sr., the father.

Meanwhile, Crump is standing beside the family, fighting for justice.

Wallace Police Chief James Crayton came to Wednesday’s press conference to listen to what the community had to say.

“Race had absolutely nothing to do with this,” Crayton said. “The police officer was not white. If and when the superior court judge orders that release, we’ll be happy to release it.”

Crayton also spoke on behalf of the officer in question.

“He does not take this situation lightly,” Crayton said. “Regardless if he knows he did what he had to do, to protect his own life and It is not lost on him that he took someone’s life”

WNCT also spoke with Lee. He said he did not want to release the video because of the state Lanier was in during the incident.