FORT WORTH - The Fort Worth officer on trial for shooting and injuring a man in 2015 took the stand in his own defense Monday afternoon.
Courtney Johnson is charged with aggravated assault by a public servant in the June 2015 shooting of Craigory Adams, who was holding a barbecue fork at the time of the shooting.
During testimony with Adams in the courtroom, Johnson became visibly emotional and struggled to hold back tears.
Jurors heard emotional testimony from Officer Johnson as she explained in his own words what he saw that night, including the question from his own attorney whether he shot an unarmed man on purpose.
The officer told jurors about his family, his service in the Army and the night in June of 2015 when he responded to a report of a man with a knife, a call captured on his dash camera.
"I need to be ready to shoot. But due to me not making the conscious decision to, I did not have my finger on the trigger because I hadn't made a conscious decision to pull the trigger,” Johnson said.
Adams was actually carrying a barbecue fork and eventually dropped it. His attorney, Jim Lane, asked Johnson what happened next.
"I took my right index finger. I moved it to the front opposite side to the left-hand side in front of the trigger guard of my shotgun, and I hit the action release,” Johnson said. “And I pulled half way back on the forend and I went back forward with it.”
Adams survived the shooting. Johnson was later indicted by a grand jury for aggravated assault by a peace officer.
Johnson, sometimes pausing to tear up, said the gun went off accidentally.
Prosecutors, however, insist he fired intentionally and brought expert witnesses who did numerous tests on the gun and found it could not have malfunctioned.
Jacqueline Craig was in court to support the Adams. Her supporters say this is just like her viral video arrest by Officer William Martin in December.
"Every time one of these incidents happens, they go straight for race,” said Minister Kiev Tatum.
"It's a pattern of behavior that the city of Fort Worth and its officers continue to produce,” said Rod Smith, spokesperson for Jacqueline Craig.