City prepares for potential riots after prosecutor rules fatal shooting of “unarmed” black man was justified

Share:

KANSAS CITY, MO – Nearly one year after the fatal police shooting of Donnie Sanders back in March of 2020, prosecutors have now ruled that the shooting was justified based upon the situational circumstances and actions of Sanders during the incident. 

Prosecutors announced their findings regarding the investigation of the police-involved shooting of Donnie Sanders that occurred back on March 12th of 2020, saying the evidence points to the shooting being justified. 

According to officials, the incident started at approximately 11:17 p.m. on March 12, 2020 after a Kansas City Police officer witnessed someone driving a Chevy Tahoe erratically on Prospect Avenue. 

The officer began to pursue the driver, and reportedly hit their lights behind the Tahoe in an alley that runs parallel to Wabash between 51st and 52nd Street. 

Said driver of the Tahoe, later identified as Sanders, continued driving to the end of the alley – and then exited his vehicle and began to flee the area on foot. 

Dashcam video had captured the events, showing the officer exiting their cruiser and giving chase to Sanders on foot. As both the suspect and the officer continued on foot, the visibility of the incident provided by the dashcam diminished.

However, some audio was still able to be picked up, which the officer could be heard yelling “hey stop,” to the suspect. 

Commands from the officer could continue to be heard from the dashcam video, with the officer repeatedly telling Sanders to stop and show his hands. 

Sanders apparently afforded verbal responses to the officer’s commands – but prosecutors say that those statements were unintelligible from the audio picked up from the dashcam video. 

From what the officer claimed of the incident, Sanders was allegedly threatening to “kill” the him, with Sanders reportedly saying: 

“I’m gonna shoot you! I’m gonna get you! Better kill me, I’m gonna kill you!”

The officer told investigators that Sanders had one of his hands extended toward him from a distance – with the officer believing that Sanders was pointing a weapon at him. 

Sanders then allegedly started moving toward the officer, with his hand still extended toward him – which the officer says that he opened fire on the suspect based upon those circumstances. 

Nearby witnesses reportedly corroborated the series of events as relayed by the officer, with one witness having said that it looked as though Sanders was pointing what could have been a gun at the officer. 

Another witness claimed to have seen the suspect first pointing something toward his own head and then pointing it at the officer. 

As it turns out, investigators say that there was no weapon recovered from the scene after the officer shot Sanders – instead only finding a cell phone inside of the suspect’s jacket pocket. 

But the prosecutor’s report said that it’s not a matter of whether Sanders actually possessed a weapon at the time of the shooting, but whether there was ample evidence available in the moments preceding the shooting that could lead a reasonable person to believe that Sanders was armed at the time: 

“It is an undisputed fact that the Civilian was unarmed at the time of the shooting.”

“But the law restricts this Committee to evaluating only what was known or reasonably believed prior to or at the time of the shooting.”

“Thus, the fact that the Civilian was found to be unarmed after the shooting is not, by itself, determinative of whether charges should be filed against the Officer.”

Jackson County Prosecuting Attorney Jean Peters Baker found that based upon what witnesses observed during the incident, in concurrence with the report of the incident furnished by the officer, there simply wasn’t evidence to charge the officer with any crime related to the shooting:

“The Use of Force Committee finds that the statements corroborate each other.”

“None of the three described the Civilian’s actions leading up to the shooting as communicating a desire to surrender, or an assurance that he meant no harm.”

“Both civilian witnesses reported that, after the multiple commands, as the Civilian proceeded towards the Officer with his hand up, the back-pedaling Officer fired multiple shots.”

“Accordingly, we do not believe the facts and law support charges here.”

You can watch the dashcam video from the incident here: 

Do you want to join our private family of first responders and supporters?  Get unprecedented access to some of the most powerful stories that the media refuses to show you.  Proceeds get reinvested into having active, retired and wounded officers, their families and supporters tell more of these stories.  Click to check it out.

LET Unity

In other recent reports regarding officers being cleared of wrongdoing, an officer in Philadelphia had recently had a case lodged against him dropped in January that was in relation to an alleged assault that occurred during the summer riots of 2020. 

Here’s that previous report. 

_

PHILADELPHIA, PA- A Philadelphia police inspector who was arrested for striking a student protester last summer had his charges dismissed Friday, Fox News said.

Inspector Joseph Bologna, 54, had charges dismissed after prosecutors were unable to present sufficient evidence to proceed during a preliminary hearing.

Judge Henry Lewandowski III said prosecutors did not have sufficient evidence to proceed with their case against Bologna, who had been charged with simple assault, recklessly endangering another person, and possessing an instrument of crime.

Attorney Brian McMonagle, Bologna’s attorney was thrilled with the judge’s decision.

“This is really a great victory for those people like Inspector Bologna, who risked their lives for strangers, which is what he was doing,’ McMonagle said outside of court Friday after the dismissal of charges.

“This destruction of his life and his career should have never occurred. And we’re just happy today that justice was done for him and his family.”

Bologna’s other attorney, Fortunato Perri Jr., said after the dismissal:

“We said no crime was committed, and now a judge has heard the entire case and he has made the same determination. No crime was committed.”

Bologna had been charged in connection with an incident where a student from Temple University was allegedly struck in the head with a metal police baton in early June during protests on the Ben Franklin Parkway, CBS Philly reported.

The student, Evan Gorski, 21 was struck in the back of his head with a baton during the June 1 “peaceful” protest over the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, with his lawyer claiming he needed 10 staples and 10 stitches to treat his injuries.

Bologna has been suspended after a video showed him striking the protester, however Lewandowski ruled there was not enough evidence to establish Bologna’s use of the police baton met the threshold of a crime.

ABC-6 in Philadelphia said that after video of the confrontation was released on social media, both the community as well as fellow officers came to Bologna’s defense, saying he was just doing his job in what was described as a very tense situation.

Officers said they were spit on, sprayed with urine as well as other chemicals, as well as verbally and physically assaulted during the protests.

The Philadelphia PD had suspended Bologna with the intent to fire him. While Bologna, a 30-year member of the department left the courthouse without comment, his attorneys said that he has the option to seek full reinstatement, a move which he has not yet decided upon.

Friday, anti-police District Attorney Larry Krasner said in a statement:

“Justice must be applied equally and in an even-handed manner. No one is above the law. We fully intend to pursue this case to a just conclusion.”

Krasner, a George Soros-funded “criminal justice reform” zealot has taken the position of being tough on cops, but light on criminals.

In a statement, the president of the Fraternal Order of Police John McNesby commended Lewandowski’s ruling, saying he made the right call.

“Inspector Bologna did his job, he did it well. He protected the community, he protected himself and he protected the officers that were under him. He did exactly what he was trained to do and that showed today. Anybody that took a look at that video, no matter when it was, would’ve seen that there should’ve been no charges levied against Inspector Bologna. Here we had a DA that was looking to grab national headlines at a time when we had unrest here in the city,” McNesby said.

McNesby further called Krasner “politically opportunistic.”

“We promised a vigorous defense to these baseless allegations and charges filed by our District Attorney,” McNesby said in a statement to Fox News.

“Our DA attempted to railroad a highly decorated and well-respected member of the Philadelphia police department. We’re happy to bring closure to this case for Bologna, a 30-year member, who has served this city with respect and integrity.

“Our union and police officers will not stand-by and watch Inspector Bologna get railroaded by a politically opportunistic [district attorney], who has turned his back on Philadelphia police and the city,” he said.

Krasner however promised to continue going after Bologna, saying in a statement that he would continue to “pursue this case” and would refile charges in the Court of Common Please within 30 days. If only Krasner was this anxious to go after real criminals.

At the time of Bologna’s arrest, Krasner claimed that charging the officer was in order to apply “even-handed accountability” while “holding police to the same standards as civilians.”

McMonagle appeared outside the courthouse after the dismissal, saying:

“This destruction of his life and his career should have never occurred. And we’re just happy today that justice was done for him and his family.”

In response to the dismissal, Philadelphia Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw released the following statement:

“On January 15, 2021, all charges against former Staff Inspector Joseph Bologna Jr. were dismissed during his preliminary hearing by Municipal Court Judge Harry Lewandowski.

In early June of 2020, after accusations of excessive force came to light against S/I Bologna, he was removed from street-duty and placed in an administrative role as an Internal Affairs investigation was started. Shortly thereafter, the District Attorney’s office announced that they would be filing criminal charges against Mr. Bologna before our Internal Affairs investigation was complete.

As a result of these criminal charges, I took Commissioner’s direct action and suspended S/I Bologna for 30 days with intent to dismiss.

The District Attorney’s Office now has 30 days to decide whether or not to refile charges against Mr. Bologna. If they decide not to refile charges, and if Mr. Bologna decides to apply for reinstatement to the PPD, I will not contest his efforts.

It is important to note that if rehired, Mr. Bologna will be subject to an IAB investigation, as the previous investigation will be reopened.”

_

Want to make sure you never miss a story from Law Enforcement Today?  With so much “stuff” happening in the world on social media, it’s easy for things to get lost.  
 

Make sure you click “following” and then click “see first” so you don’t miss a thing!  (See image below.)  Thanks for being a part of the LET family!

Facebook Follow First

Share:
Related Posts