Report: Father of teenage girl who was fatally shot by officers invites chief and officers to teen’s funeral

MUSKOGEE, OK- The chief of police for the Muskogee Police Department (MPD) said that he and the officers that were involved in the fatal shooting of a 17-year-old girl who opened fired on the officers were invited to attend the teenage girl’s funeral.

According to reports, the father, Steve Rauch said that he forgives the MPD officers who shot his daughter, Farrah, and apologized for her having put them in a position where they were forced to return fire. He said in a statement:

“I know they’re hurting. They have to be hurting for what they had to do and that’s what they have to do in a job.”

He broke into tears and added:

“I want people to know they’re loved. I want to hug them, I want everybody else to hug them, they need it, we need it.”

The father said that his daughter has struggled for the past four years with her parents’ divorce, cutting herself and using drugs. Investigators said that Farrah and her boyfriend Joseph Dugan ran away from Blair, Nebraska. 

Reportedly, they drove through Florida, Georgia, and Arkansas and had a few run-ins with law enforcement. Police said that when the teenagers got to Muskogee on Sunday, February 28th, they tried stealing a truck and were chased by officers.

Police said that Farrah shot at the officers who then returned fire and killed her. Investigators said that Dugan shot and killed himself. In talking about the teenage girls funeral, Chief Johnny Teehee said in a statement:

“I was honestly shocked when we got the invite. I’ve never seen anything like this.”

He went on to admit that he never expected Rauch to invite him and the four officers involved in the shooting to not only come to the funeral, but to also speak at the funeral. Teehee said:

“To me, it’s something you have to rely on God to do. Obviously, there’s a message that somebody in the family or in that community, needs to hear and God needs me to be the messenger.”

He added:

“It’s a way both for their family and their community and for my officers and my department and our community to being that healing process.”

Rauch said in a statement:

“I feel like more people should be doing this. I feel like Farrah has a message, this is how she can get her message.”

He said that he hopes all four involved officers will attend his daughter’s funeral service in Nebraska on March 10th. Chief Teehee has agreed to be a speaker at the teen’s service. 

Muskogee police said they were aware of the crimes the teens had committed in the other states and that they were working with officials in Florida and Arkansas.

In 2018, Rauch’s family held a rally for her to come home after she walked away from a girl’s treatment program in Douglas County. On February 26th, 2021, Washington County issued a warrant for Rauch’s arrest.

Court records show that she faced drug charges and a court order from the 25th that said she cannot have any contact with Dugan.

Court records in Burt County also show that Dugan was sentenced to 9 months probation, which began on February 23rd. 

He was placed on probation for theft and minor in possession of nicotine in late 2020. The possession charge was dropped.

Both were students at Blair High School. The school superintendent, Randall Gilson, released the following statement:

“We are all deeply saddened by this tragic loss. We shared this news with high school students today at school. Students at Blair High School had the opportunity to visit with their teachers and a school counselor if they expressed concerns or had questions.

Children react to loss differently. Please be sensitive to any changes in your child’s behavior over the next few days and encourage your child to express his or her feelings.”

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Oklahoma City officer charged with manslaughter for shooting knife-wielding man who rushed a cop

March 1st, 2021

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK – An Oklahoma City police officer has been charged with first-degree manslaughter, following the fatal police shooting of a 60-year-old homeless man that occurred in December of 2020. 

Prosecutors say that the officer fatally shot the suspect, who was armed with a knife, as he was running away from officers. 

On December 11th, 2020, Oklahoma City Police were notified about a man, identified as Bennie Edwards, who was reportedly bothering customers outside of a store located within the 2100 block of West Hefner Road. 

The first officer to arrive on the scene was Sergeant Keith Duroy, who had tried speaking with Edwards who was reportedly in possession of a folding knife in his right hand. 

Officials allege that Edwards was telling Sergeant Duroy to leave the area, and shortly thereafter, Sergeant Duroy had requested that backup arrive to assist – specifically requesting that a unit with a Taser respond to the scene. 

That’s when Sergeant Clifford Holman, who is a certified Taser operator, arrived on scene and assisted Sergeant Duroy in trying to talk down the armed suspect. 

Edwards allegedly continued to tell the officers on the scene to leave – while still reportedly being in possession of the folding knife. Officers were said to have commanded Edwards to drop the knife, as the suspect was allegedly pointing the weapon at officers. 

Sergeant Holman was said to have deployed the Taser on the suspect twice during the encounter, which reportedly had no effect on Edwards. OC spray was also utilized, which court documents state was also ineffective on the suspect. 

It was after the Taser was deployed the second time that Edwards began to allegedly charge toward Sergeant Duroy while still armed with the knife. 

Sergeant Holman was said to have un-holstered his side arm and opened fire on Edwards at this point – resulting in the suspect being fatally wounded. 

A bystander just happened to have been recording the incident when the shooting occurred. In the witness video captured from the scene, the suspect can be seen charging toward one of the officers and three rounds can be heard being discharged. 

Then, it appears as though Edwards begins running in a direction away from officers and three other rounds were discharged, with the suspect falling to the ground. 

From what the court documents note in the case, it seems as though it was the final three shots discharged by Sergeant Holman that has resulted in the charges he is now facing: 

“Sgt. Clifford Holman dropped his Taser unit, drew his service weapon and fired three shots unnecessarily at Mr. Edwards as he was running away, striking him in his upper middle back, causing his death.”

A statement was released from the Oklahoma City Police Department after they were notified about Sergeant Holman being charged in Edwards death.

The statement said: 

“On Dec. 11, 2020 at 11:38 a.m., Master Sgt. Keith Duroy and Sgt. Clifford Holman were involved in a shooting in the 2100 block of West Hefner Road. The shooting resulted in the death of Bennie Edwards.”

It continued:

“The incident was investigated and presented to the Oklahoma County District Attorney’s Office for review. On Feb. 24, 2021, the department was informed that the District Attorney would be filing the charge of manslaughter in the first degree on Sgt. Clifford Holman.

“Sergeant Holman has been with the department for seven years and is currently on paid administrative leave. The District Attorney’s Office did not file charges against Master Sgt. Keith Duroy for his involvement in the shooting.”

Edwards was apparently known to have suffered from schizophrenia and bipolar disorder by both family and local community members. 

In Oklahoma, first-degree manslaughter carries a 4-year minimum prison sentence upon conviction. 

John George, president of the Oklahoma City Fraternal Order of Police, also released a statement on the charge brought against Sergeant Holman, expressing support for the officer and implying that the use of force was justified, saying: 

“The OKC FOP stands by Sgt. Holman, who followed his training when an armed suspect charged another officer. A loss of life is always a tragedy, but officers must be able to protect one another when de-escalation tactics are ineffective.”

He continued:

“In this situation, when faced with a disturbed individual armed with a deadly weapon, our officers used multiple methods of de-escalation and less-lethal options to try to avoid the use of deadly force.

“When those efforts were ineffective, the officers were put in peril when they were charged by the armed person. We maintain that Sgt. Holman upheld his duty and followed the law.”

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In other reports related to officers charged in fatal shootings, an officer in Virginia was charged with manslaughter back in 2020 from a fatal shooting that occurred while he was off-duty. 

Here’s that previous report. 

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CHESAPEAKE, VA – Back in January of 2020, a woman with her children called her husband – a police officer that was off-duty – about a man armed with a knife threatening her. 

Reportedly, when the woman’s husband arrived, a confrontation ensued that turned physical between the man armed with a knife and the off-duty officer. 

Authorities say that the officer fatally shot the man armed with a knife, and a judge recently ruled there’s enough probable cause to go forward with a trial on charges of voluntary manslaughter

Here’s the details on the case. 

It was on January 19th when Norfolk Police Officer Edmund Hoyt was called by his wife about a man threatening her with a knife. Officer Hoyt’s wife was walking with her two children, when 42-year-old Kelvin White blocked her path. 

Apparently, White had commanded Officer Hoyt’s wife to move out of his way and then pulled a knife on her in front of her children.

The woman was said to have then informed White that she was going to call her husband, which White reportedly responded with: 

“Call your husband, I don’t care, I’ll stab him too.”

According to the family of White, he suffered from schizophrenia, but his family claims that he was never violent. 

Upon Officer Hoyt’s arrival on the scene where his wife was threatened, Detective James Thomas with the Chesapeake Police Department says that a “hands-on” confrontation between Officer Hoyt and White took place. 

Officer Hoyt was said to have fired five to six shots at White, killing him. 

Photos that were presented in the courtroom on November 20th showed that Officer Hoyt did sustain some lacerations to the side of his face that drew blood. 

However, his wife and children were never hurt during the confrontation. 

Khiera Williams, the mother of White’s three children – twins aged 17 years old and one 18-year-old – contends that White was not a “monster” and that if Officer Hoyt’s wife really “felt threatened” then she should’ve called “Chesapeake police” and not her husband. 

James Broccoletti, Officer Hoyt’s defense attorney in the matter, says that he’s confident that the case will be defeated at trial under a defense of protecting himself and his family from a man armed with a knife. 

White’s brother, Gerard, says that he hold no ill-will toward anyone in the case, but simply wants justice for his brother’s death: 

“My family have no hate toward anybody. We just want justice.”

According to Virginia case law, voluntary manslaughter distinguishes itself from other murder charges by noting that: 

Voluntary manslaughter may be found upon evidence that an intentional, non-malicious homicide occurred in sudden mutual combat or as a result of heat of passion induced by reasonable provocation.

Essentially, the charge of voluntary manslaughter betrays that prosecutors believe that Officer Hoyt injected himself into an instance of mutual combat as opposed to an instance of defending himself or others. 

While manslaughter charges, whether voluntary or involuntary, may sounds serious – the absolute maximum that can be doled out in Virginia is 10 years in prison. 

The minimum sentence for the Class 5 felony is one year in prison, but at the court’s discretion, a penalty of less than a year in concurrence with a fine of up to $2,500 could be afforded as well. 

This is a developing case. 

Please follow Law Enforcement Today as we gather updates as this case works it way through the courts. 

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The post Report: Father of teenage girl who was fatally shot by officers invites chief and officers to teen’s funeral appeared first on Law Enforcement Today.

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Author: Jenna Curren


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