Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Stoughton Cop Cleared in Shooting

Aren't they always?

"Review finds Stoughton officer acted reasonably in shooting" by Aneri Pattani, Globe Correspondent  March 23, 2015

A Stoughton police officer acted “reasonably and lawfully” in firing a single nonfatal shot at a man wielding a knife last month, Norfolk District Attorney Michael Morrissey concluded.

Following a six-week review of the Feb. 5 shooting of Cannon Dawson, Morrissey said in a statement that the officer had first tried to subdue Dawson with verbal warnings and a Taser before drawing his service pistol. He also considered using chemical spray but did not, Morrissey said.

At the time he was shot, Dawson had armed himself with a folding knife, according to Morrissey.

The unidentified Stoughton officer “acted properly throughout the incident, employing an appropriate escalating use of force from initial verbal commands to physical contact to nonlethal means before eventually being confronted by an imminent deadly threat,” Morrissey said.

I am glad another person isn't dead by hands of police, yeah.

The district attorney said he based his conclusion on a review of bystander video, witness accounts, and police interviews.

He said that on the afternoon of Feb. 5, Dawson was involved in a two-car crash at Brook and Central streets in Stoughton, where Dawson’s Honda Accord struck the rear bumper of a Mercedes-Benz. The driver of the Mercedes called police when Dawson refused to provide insurance information, prosecutors said.

When officers arrived, Dawson refused to provide his license and registration and he was warned that failure to provide the information could lead to his arrest, Morrissey said.

Dawson continued his refusal.

The officer who eventually shot Dawson initially took his chemical spray in hand and warned Dawson that he would use it. Because of their positioning, the officer realized he could not spray the subject without getting it into his own face as well, prosecutors said.

The officer then took out his Taser and issued a verbal warning to Dawson, who struggled with him, Morrissey said. As a second officer arrived, Dawson spun away and punched the first officer in the face, prosecutors said.

The officer then fired the Taser, and Dawson fled across the road, barely avoiding a passing vehicle, Morrissey said. The officer ran after Dawson and fired the Taser a second time, missing him, prosecutors said.

So the Tasers missed him, and where is the knife in all this?

The foot chase continued until they arrived at a dead end, where Dawson reached into his pocket, turned toward the officer, and opened a knife, according to Morrissey. When Dawson stepped toward him, the officer drew his gun and fired a single round, prosecutors said.

I see.

Dawson threw the knife as he fell, Morrissey said, and it was retrieved in a nearby snowbank.

Dawson was treated for the gunshot wound, which was not life-threatening, prosecutors said.