TEXARKANA, Ark. (KTAL/KSHV) — A Texarkana police officer who fatally shot a man back in June has been cleared of any wrongdoing.
On Tuesday Chuck Black, the Prosecuting Attorney for the 8th South District including Miller and Lafayette Counties stated in a letter that, the Texarkana, Arkansas police officer who shot and killed 37-year-old Don Allen Crowson was justified in his actions.
Black stated, “No criminal charges will be filed by this office in connection with the unfortunate death of Mr. Crowson.”
According to TAPD, on June 26 officers responded to a possible disturbance in the 1100 block of Hickory St. The caller said Crowson had been pacing in the street and yelling that he was going to kill someone. They also said Crowson was jumping up and down on a fence and appeared to be on drugs.
When officers arrived they made contact with Crowson inside an apartment. Crowson then grabbed a large silver metal object from a toolbox, charged at them, and yelled that he was going to kill them.
The officers gave verbal commands to stop and retreated as far as possible into the walkway. One officer, fearing for his life and that of others, fired multiple shots at Crowson. Despite officers rendering first aid to Crowson, he died from his injuries.
The Arkansas State Police investigated the response by patrol officers and officer-involved shooting incident then presented their findings to the 8th South Prosecuting Attorney’s Office for review. Their investigation included statements from witnesses and officers involved. Video evidence from the camera’s worn by the officers on the scene, the medical examiner’s report of autopsy findings, and toxicology reports.
Black examined the principles of criminal liability in the execution of public duty, and when a person is justified in using deadly physical force in defense of a person.
According to Arkansas Statute, “A person is justified in using deadly physical force upon another person if the person reasonably believes that the other person is (1) Committing or about to commit a felony involving force or violence; or (2) Using or about to use unlawful deadly physical force.”
Black stated that under the circumstances revealed in the ASP investigative file and the physical evidence presented to his office that it is “abundantly clear” that the actions of the officer were justified under either or both subdivisions of the statute.
A deadly force review board was convened in accordance with Texarkana Arkansas Police policy and found that the officers involved acted within the guidelines of the agency’s use of force policy and concurred with the findings of the Arkansas State Police.
All officers involved in this incident will be returned to full duty.