No charges for officers who shot carjackers
Grand jury finds no evidence of unnecessary force in fatal shooting that sent officer to hospital
No charges will be filed in the fatal shooting of two suspects who attempted to evade arrest by the West Memphis Police officers earlier this year.
A Crittenden County Grand Jury found no evidence to support pressing charges against the six members of the WMPD for the Jan. 16 incident in which the pursuit of a pair of carjackers from South Carolina ended with one police officer in the hospital and the suspects dead after the chase was halted on North McAuley in West Memphis.
West Memphis Police shot and killed driver Megan Rivera, 22, and De’Angelo Brown, 30, after the couple, who were in a stolen car, refused to pull over and led police in a pursuit.
The six officers that fired on the suspects remain on administrative leave with pay. Assistant Police Chief Robert Langston said those officers remain off the job, pending the results of the department’s internal investigation for appropriate use of deadly force and complying with the department’s established vehicle pursuit policy.
Seven patrol vehicles were damaged during a chase that circled the city one and a half times.
The chase started when a Toyota Camry was spotted with high beams on the 300 block of West Broadway about 9 p.m. As patrol officer pulling behind the car also noticed no license tag on the rear bumper.
Rivera began accelerating in the 500 block of East Broadway.
“99 percent of the drivers out there will pull over for blue lights and a siren,” said Langston. “When they don’t yield it gets officers thinking what else the driver may have been involved in.”
An Arkansas State Police vehicle led the pursuit when the car turned north on MLK Drive, the State Trooper attempted a PIT maneuver (Pursuit Intervention Technique) as the car attempted to turn onto a west bound Interstate ramp. The chase doubled back through the city with the WMPD deploying stop sticks and trying several box maneuvers to stop the car. In all seven police vehicles took damage in the pursuit. At one point the Toyota wound up in a front lawn of a residence where police heard Brown urge Rivera, the driver to “go” and continue the escape and saw him grab the shift stick to put the car back in drive to go at officers again. Then, one patrolman’s legs were run over at which point six officers opened fire on the couple.
“The (officer’s) injuries are very serious and he will need several surgeries over time,” said Langston. “At this point we don’t know if he will ever be able to return to police work.”
The police called for ambulances but the pair were pronounced dead. CARJACKERS Continued from Page 1
“I can say a .22 caliber rifle and crack cocaine were recovered from the vehicle,” said Langston.
“Later, officers discovered the car had been carjacked
charges out of South