BRISTOL, VA – A Bristol police officer was indicted by a grand jury for murder Monday in the shooting death of a man who refused to exit his vehicle in the parking lot of a motel and drove towards an officer.
For the first time in more than 100 years, a Twin City police officer has been charged with murder in an officer-involved shooting. Per @RobertSorrell9, the Bristol Va. police officer’s name is Johnathan R. Brown:https://t.co/FfClg6HnYb
— Sarah Wade (@swadely) May 5, 2021
Bristol Officer Jonathan Brown was released on a $25,000 bond after turning himself in to the Virginia State Police on Tuesday following the indictment, according to Commonwealth’s Attorney for the City of Roanoke Don Caldwell.
Caldwell agreed to Brown’s released on bond:
“That’s the commonwealth’s recommendation. I do not consider him a flight risk or a danger to the community pending the trial.”
— Ally (@newscat44) May 4, 2021
Brown was indicted Monday by a Bristol Circuit Court grand jury on charges of murder, using a firearm in the commission of a felony, and shooting into an occupied vehicle in the March 30 shooting death of Jonathan Kohler, 31, of Bristol, Tennessee.
UPDATE: VSP confirms the suspect refused to exit his vehicle, despite repeated commands by the officers. The man then put the vehicle into drive and sped towards one of the officers. The officer fired at the suspect’s vehicle as it came at him. The male driver died at the scene. https://t.co/iI02lzukWj
— Christy Calcagno WCYB (@ChristyCalcagno) March 30, 2021
The incident began when police received a 911 call just before 4:30 a.m. from a caller at a motel about shots being fired. Officers responded to the call and encountered Kohler in the driver’s seat of a 1994 Ford Mustang, according to a Virginia State Police news release.
— dcombest (@dcombest) May 7, 2021
The statement said Kohler refused officers’ repeated orders to exit the vehicle and suddenly drove the vehicle at Brown:
“As officers were verbally engaged with Kohler, he backed up and then drove forward in an attempt to exit the parking lot, at which point one of the officers fired at Kohler’s vehicle.
“He then put the Mustang into drive and sped towards one of the officers. The officer fired at the suspect vehicle as it came at him.”
Kohler, 31, was struck by gunfire and died at the scene. No officers were injured during the incident.
Authorities would release none of the evidence Wednesday that led to the murder indictment against a Bristol Virginia Police Department officer this week — resulting in more questions regarding this rare criminal prosecution. https://t.co/fCJxa6mR1m
— GoDanRiver (@GoDanRiver) May 6, 2021
Caldwell, who was appointed by a judge to prosecute the case, refused to comment on the evidence in this case:
“I don’t believe in trying cases in the public eye. The evidence will be presented during trial, and a trier of fact, either a judge or jury, will make a decision.”
Officer Brown has been suspended without pay pending the outcome of the charges and an internal affairs investigation. This is routine procedure in a police-involved shooting.
Bristol, Virginia police officer charged with murder in fatal shooting https://t.co/Flqg0255GW
— Theresa Buchanan (@clouddancer2) May 6, 2021
A statement issued by Bristol City Manager and Attorney Randall Eads and Mayor Bill Hartley seemed to prejudge the officer’s guilt prior to the completion of the investigation:
“(The internal affairs) investigation was not conducted contemporaneously with the criminal investigation due to procedural issues that could have hampered the criminal investigation. The investigation is expected to be completed within 10 days.
“We do not condone, nor will we tolerate the unnecessary use of force by our police officers. There is a time and place for the use of force, and force must be used sparingly and within the bounds of the law.”
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Officer charged with manslaughter in shooting death of Bennie Edwards, who charged officers with a knife
March 19. 2021
OKLAHOMA CITY, OK – The Oklahoma District Attorney’s Office charged a city police officer involved with the shooting death of Bennie Edwards late last year with manslaughter on Thursday.
Bennie Edwards, a black man with mental illness, was armed with a knife and charged at officers before the shooting.
District Attorney David Prater filed the charges against Sgt. Clifford Holman. In filing the charges, Prater said:
“There are always many things to consider when determining whether or not an officer’s use of deadly force is lawfully justified or not. Any loss of human life is tragic, and I take these decisions very seriously.”
The incident occurred on December 11, when officers were called to a report of a homeless man on the sidewalk in front of Extra Cash Gold and Loan on Hefner Road in the city. Police said the business owner had called police about 60-year-old Edwards hanging out in front of his business.
Oklahoma City police officer charged with manslaughter—after shooting knife-wielding attacker – Law Officer https://t.co/pRSQhSrloG
— Lex Lothar214782 Deplorable & Dorsey limited (@lothar214782) March 5, 2021
In an affidavit, investigating detective Bryn Carter said that the first officer to arrive, Sgt. Keith Duroy, requested backup from a unit carrying a taser. Duroy made contact with Edwards, who was armed with a knife and told the officer to leave.
Sgt. Holman arrived on the scene with a taser. Another officer also arrived but did not deploy a taser or fire shots during the incident.
Edwards continued holding the knife despite multiple orders from police to drop it. When he refused, Sgt. Holman deployed his taser, which had no effect. Edward ran toward Duroy with the knife after the failed taser attempt, and then turned and began running away from the officers.
Sgt. Clifford Holman was charged for his alleged role in the shooting death of Bennie Edwards.
Edwards had a knife in his hand at the time of the deadly encounter, but he was shot in the back three times as he ran from law enforcement officershttps://t.co/RO3gfg0kd9
— Washington Examiner (@dcexaminer) February 27, 2021
Both DuRoy and Sgt. Holman fired rounds at Edwards. The affidavit filed by Carter read:
“(Holman) fired three shots unnecessarily at Mr. Edwards as he was running away, striking him in his upper middle back causing his death.”
Holman’s attorney released a statement saying his client acted accordingly, and that the law firm will vigorously defend the officer:
“(Holman) acted lawfully, and we are proud to represent him as we fight these charges in a court of law.”
This is so difficult to watch…
The body cam footage of the Bennie Edwards shooting has been released.
The DA has filed charges of first degree manslaughter against Sgt Clifford Holman. He’s the officer whose body cam footage can be seen in the clip below… pic.twitter.com/MmbAXUVYvV
— Rebecca Pryor (@RebeccaPryorTV) February 26, 2021
The Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) also defended the actions of Sgt. Holman, saying he acted as he was trained. Police Union President John George said:
“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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Author: Scott A. Davis
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