Outrage after prosecutors say they won’t charge deputies who fatally shot drug dealer who pointed gun at them

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VANCOUVER, WA- According to reports, the Pierce County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office in Washington state has announced that it will not be charging three Clark County deputies who fatally shot an alleged drug dealer after he pointed a gun at them.

A letter that was released from the Pierce County prosecutor on Monday, August 16th, stated that the shooting death of Kevin Peterson Jr. during an attempted drug sting was determined to be justified and lawful. 

The Pierce County Prosecutor’s Office took over the case after Clark County prosecutors requested an independent review of the October 29, 2020 officer-involved shooting of the 21 year old. 

After Peterson fled the October 29th sting, Detectives Robert Anderson and Jeremy Brown and Deputy John Feller confronted him at a nearby bank. Peterson fled the scene again while carrying a cell phone and a handgun.

Pierce County Prosecutor Mary Robnett and Chief Criminal Deputy James Schact announced that Anderson, Brown, and Feller acted lawfully during the encounter and will not face any charges as a result of the incident. Robnett and Schact wrote, in part:

“There was no legal requirement for the officers to allow Mr. Peterson to fire first before defending themselves. They did not have to wait for him to pull the trigger.”

The prosecutors also stated that the deputies acted lawfully because the sting was a legal effort to stop illicit prescription drugs sales and that Peterson had “ample time” to drop the gun but never did.

Anderson, who shot first, told investigators that he pulled the trigger as Peterson ran away because he refused multiple orders to drop the gun. Anderson also said that he feared Peterson would run into more deputies moving to arrest.

Mark Lindquist, an attorney representing Peterson’s family in their lawsuit against Clark County, said in a statement after the shooting was found to be justified:

“We are shocked an officer gets to shoot Kevin in the back because he’s tired of chasing him. This is unfair and unsafe for everyone in the community. Our laws do not allow an officer to shoot a suspect for running away. I’m confident justice will prevail in the family’s civil lawsuit against the county.”

Despite Lindquist’s statement, the law does actually allow police to shoot suspects who are running away after committing an assault with a deadly weapon. Lindquist announced in March that they intend to sue the county, however, they have not yet filed.

Shortly after the fatal incident, Clark County Sheriff Chuck Atkins told reporters that Peterson “reportedly fired his weapon” at deputies during the October 29th encounter. At the time, Atkins said in a statement:

“A foot pursuit ensued where deputies from the Clark County Sheriff’s Office were chasing a man with a firearm.

The information I have is that upon entering the parking lot of a bank, the man reportedly fired his weapon at the deputies. The deputies returned fire and the subject was tragically killed. It is my understanding that the man’s firearm was observed at the scene.”

Investigators said in an update in November 2020 that they have not found any evidence that Peterson actually fired his gun. The Lower Columbia Major Crimes Team said in a press release:

“At this time, detectives do not have evidence that Peterson fired the handgun while in the U.S. Bank lot, based on involved deputy interviews. Additionally, no .40 caliber casings were recovered at the scene.”

Peterson died of his wounds at the scene. Investigators found a .40-caliber Glock handgun near his body.

Investigators also allegedly located multiple pre-packaged amounts of Xanax pills during a search of Peterson’s vehicle. In their decision, Robnett and Schact wrote:

“It is tragic that Mr. Peterson lost his life. But, he made the regrettable decision to distribute drugs and in the course of felony drug dealing, threaten to shoot the police.”

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Criminals open fire on police officers responding to a triple shooting of teenagers in Philadelphia

July 20th, 2021

PHILADELPHIA, PA – Philadelphia Police are currently investigating a shooting that wound up injuring 3 teenage boys in West Philadelphia, where responding police officers were also fired upon.

According to authorities, the shooting incident happened slightly before 11:30 p.m. on July 18th in the area of 53rd and Market Street. Officials say that an 18-year-old was shot in the leg, a 17-year-old was shot in the wrist, and a 16-year-old was shot in the buttocks.

When officers responded to the scene of the shooting, officials say that the officers were forced to take cover as an unidentified individual was reportedly firing in their direction. Officials noted that none of the officers on the scene returned fire.

As for the three teenage victims, they were transported to an area hospital and were last listed as being in stable condition.

The weekend in question was a relatively violent one in Philadelphia, as reports note that nearly a dozen people were injured by gunfire that occurred on July 18th.

One of those injured was identified as a 15-year-old boy that had suffered gunshot wounds to the legs in the Kingsessing area, which responding officers were said to have transported the child to Penn Presbyterian Hospital.

A 29-year-old man had also reportedly shown up at the same hospital, having suffered a gunshot wound to the leg. A 19-year-old gunshot victim also suffered a graze wound to the knee in a shooting that happened within the 5500 block of Malcolm Street just before 3:00 p.m. on July 18th.

Shortly before 5:00 p.m. that same day, a 16-year-old was shot in the thigh and a 23-year-old was shot in the wrist within the 200 block of Montana Street in Philadelphia’s East Mount Airy neighborhood.

At approximately 5:30 p.m., a 34-year-old man was shot within the 1600 block of West Seltzer Street, with authorities saying the victim is fighting for his life after being brought to Temple Hospital in critical condition.

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In Maine, police officers also were attacked when responding to a disturbance call in Portland where they detained an armed felon while combatting a hostile crowd. 

Here’s that previous report from earlier in July. 

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PORTLAND, ME – Earlier in July, three Portland Maine Police officers were injured while responding to a disturbance call that reportedly involved an armed felon that attacked arresting officers.

Furthermore, a press release from the Portland Maine Police Department noted that a “hostile” crowd had gathered around the officers enacting the arrest, with an additional suspect trying to fight the officers who were arresting the armed felon.

On July 11th at approximately 7:26 p.m., Portland Maine Police officers had responded to a reported disturbance ongoing along the block of 25 Preble Street. As responding officers were interviewing witnesses at the location, they happened upon a man later identified as 21-year-old Frederick Archer.

Officers claimed to have noticed a handgun tucked into Archer’s waistband, which the officers confirmed with dispatch that Archer it is a convicted felon and thus not permitted to own/handle a firearm.

According to the press release, a scuffle ensued once officers attempted to take Archer into custody:

“Officers quickly confiscated the weapon before Archer attempted to escape and resist officers’ attempts to make an arrest. Archer became assaultive and made several attempts to obtain officers’ firearms during the confrontation.

Archer punched, scratched, kicked and spit in officers’ faces and other parts of their body as he was being restrained and detained.”

As officers were working to get Archer detained, police say that “a crowd formed and acted hostile towards officers” and that a juvenile suspect started to provoke officers into engaging into a physical confrontation:

“A person in the crowd, a 17-year-old male of Portland, challenged officers to fight and acted aggressively. The suspect threw a metal container at the hood of a police vehicle, causing damage, and shoved an officer.”

Three officers were reportedly injured while arresting Archer, which they were treated and released at an area hospital following the arrest.

Archer was booked into the Cumberland County Jail under charges of felon in possession of a firearm, two counts of assault on a police officer, and a charge of assault and refusing to submit to arrest.

The 17-year-old male was arrested under charges of assault, disorderly conduct, criminal mischief and criminal threatening. Police say that he was later released into the custody of a parent following the arrest.

Portland Maine Police Chief Frank Clark issued the following statement regarding the incident and arrests:

“We hold our officers to high standards and expect them to display professionalism, courtesy and compassion during their interactions with the public. It is not too much to expect the same level of decency in return, so that everyone involved in an interaction goes home safely to their family.”

“There is a single common denominator during incidents in which force is used by police, that is that someone is being resistive, assaultive, or displaying active aggression or life threatening actions towards our officers or members of the public.”

“Our officers are trained to assess these threats, and then react and respond accordingly. I would expect them to do nothing less. I am asking those hiding in the shadows to cease the random, cowardly and unwarranted violence against our police officers. Portland is better than that.”

Mayor Kate Snyder also shared a statement admonishing the actions of the hostile crowd that had gathered and complicated the arrest of an armed felon, saying:

“Violence is never an appropriate response. And violence aimed at those who are on the front line ensuring all of our safety is reprehensible. Members of the Portland Police Department deserve our support and respect. They have mine.”

City Manager Jon Jennings noted the following about the incident:

“The attacks on our police officers are completely unacceptable and will not be tolerated. We have one of the best police departments in the entire country and they deserve this community’s respect. I want to thank each and every one of them for their service.”

In other recent news regarding wounded law enforcement officers, a sheriff’s deputy was shot in his hand while escorting an inmate at a doctors appointment to a restroom inside of a hospital in Texas. 

We at Law Enforcement Today shared the details on this incident that occurred earlier in July. 

Here’s that previous report. 

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HOUSTON, TX – A Harris County deputy was reportedly shot in the hand during a scuffle with an inmate he was escorting to the restroom while at a hospital in Houston earlier in July.

The inmate, who was reportedly brought to the hospital for a doctor’s appointment, has since been charged for the shooting of the deputy.

On July 14th at approximately 4:20 p.m., 35-year-old inmate Thaddeus Lewis was at the Ben Taub Hospital for an unspecified doctor’s appointment while under the guard of a Harris County deputy.

The deputy was said to have been escorting Lewis to the bathroom in the hospital when a scuffle broke out between the inmate and the deputy.

Houston Police officials say that Lewis attacked the deputy once they were inside of the restroom, grabbing the deputy’s gun at one point during the struggle and shooting the deputy in his left hand.

Authorities say that hospital staff responded and came to the deputy’s aid, helping get Lewis detained.

The injured deputy, who has not been identified by name, was described as a 36-year veteran of the Harris County Sheriff’s Office. Officials say that he is in stable condition following the incident.

Lewis has since been transported back to the Harris County Joint Processing Center and has been charged with aggravated assault against a peace officer, in addition to the previous charges Lewis faces which are possession of a controlled substance and felony possession of a weapon. 

The Houston Police Department is handling the criminal investigation into the incident, while the Harris County Sheriff’s Office takes the lead on the administrative portion of the investigation. 

Earlier in July in Iowa, a correctional officer was attacked by an inmate at the Anamosa State Penitentiary.

Prison officials say that the attack occurred on July 9th slightly before 2:30 p.m. as the correctional officer was supervising a group of inmates.

The unnamed inmate was said to have started punching the correctional officer, leading the correctional officer to using pepper spray and other defensive techniques before additional correctional officers responded and got the inmate under control. 

Officials say that the correctional officer suffered minor injuries, but was checked out at a local hospital as a precaution. It’s unclear what charges, if any, will be brought against the inmate regarding the incident. 

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