Security video (below) of Suge Knight's fatal hit-and-run at a Compton hamburger stand captured much of what happened on the afternoon of Jan. 29 when the hip-hop mogul had a confrontation with actor Cle “Bone” Sloan.
The video was posted early today by TMZ.
The site predicts that the footage “will absolutely become the centerpiece of his murder trial.”
Following the incident, Knight was charged with suspicion of murder, attempted murder and “two counts of hit-and-run with an allegation that he committed a serious and violent felony while out on bail,” according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office.
When Knight turned himself in to authorities the next day, he placed a partially smoked cigar on a tree branch and indicated he'd be back to get it. But he's been in jail, with initial bail of more than $2 million revoked to “no bail,” ever since.
His first attorney on the case told reporters that the hit-and-run was an accident — that Suge was trying to escape after being attacked by Sloan through the window of his truck.
The video doesn't necessarily refute that version of events. It doesn't appear to have audio. And TMZ suggests a bystander at the scene had a gun. But the footage is brutal, and it does show Knight's gangster-red truck reverse and then quickly accelerate forward.
The backstory of what happened that day has changed a few times, but the latest seems to be that Knight wanted to speak to Dr. Dre about his depiction in a movie Dre was involved with, Straight Outta Compton.
There has been speculation that Knight wanted to be paid for being portrayed.
Knight went to the set of a trailer-type video shoot for the movie that day, according to reports, and was ejected by Sloan, who was working security.
The rap mogul might or might not have then been summoned to Tam's Burgers nearby for a possible meeting with Dre, but it was there that he and Sloan had another confrontation, according to reports. Knight's initial lawyer told reporters that he had been attacked by Sloan and was just trying to get away.
The man killed in the collision, 55-year-old Terry Carter, was said to have set up the meeting and was a friend of Knight's, the hip-hop executives reps have said. (Carter's family has said they were not friends.)
A lawyer for the family told TMZ:
The Carter family is pleased you are releasing the video so the public can see what actually occurred and not be forced to speculate based on third-party descriptions of the video.