A Pennsylvania police officer who shot and seriously injured an unarmed detainee who, in his opinion, would have pulled out his Taser at the time instead of a gun will not do so. subject to charges, said the Bucks County Attorney's Office.
According to the findings released Friday by the office, Attorney General Matthew D. Weintraub determined that the officer who shot at the inmate, Brian Riling, was "neither justified nor criminal, but excused" at the time of the arrest. 39th incident of March.
Weintraub stated in a letter to New Hope Police Chief Michael Cummings that the law exempted the prosecutor's behavior because of his "honest but mistaken" belief that he was using his stun gun at the time of the incident, not his firearm.
The officer shot Riling on March 3 in a holding cell. The inmate survived the incident, but had to be kept in hospital for several days in critical condition.
The office said that he had entered the cell and had started to remove his clothes as indicated during the incident when a "drug bag" fell out of his belt.
He allegedly stomped on the bag and shortly thereafter a fight broke out between him and the officer, the office said.
"With his firearm in hand, the second officer shouts" Taser! "Before shooting Riling in the torso," said the office.
"The incident investigation also revealed that the officer was carrying his stun gun on the right side, in front of his firearm, in violation of the police department's policies. Politics requires officers to wear Tasers on their non-dominant side, in a so-called cross-pull position, "the office continued.
"This violation of the policy, however, does not constitute a violation of the law," the office said.
In light of all the circumstances, Weintraub concluded that the officer "would have been justified in using his Taser gun to regain control of Riling inside the detention cell" as he "Had a reasonable belief that the fight was a danger to his colleague".
The office said that he would not disclose the name of the officer who shot the detainee because he "was not charged."