LA Times Kate Mather, Cindy Chang

The cellphone video shows a man’s life ending violently at the hands of Fresno police officers, who shoot him twice as he lies on the ground.

There are no words exchanged, no why – only the brutal end.

The recording, filmed by a bystander from a distance, fueled protests and prompted calls for an FBI investigation.

But Fresno police this week took the unusual step of releasing footage from body cameras worn by officers at the shooting – recordings that showed the deadly encounter in clear and graphic detail.

In doing so, the department broke ranks with other law enforcement agencies that have resisted making similar footage public. The cameras are becoming increasingly popular with police departments at a time of heightened public scrutiny of police use of force, especially against African Americans.