In Missouri, Trooper Anthony Perry is pleading guilty to a misdemeanor for the negligent drowning death of Brandon Ellingson. Perry handcuffed Ellingson while in a boat on the lake and did not use the right life jacket, nor did he properly put the one he used on Ellingson. Ellingson drowned. Perry faces a maximum sentence of six months in jail and could receive probation. He was originally charged with felony manslaughter. The State of Missouri settled with the family for $9 million to avoid a lawsuit.
In Louisiana, the family of Alton Sterling is suing the Baton Rogue police officers who shot and killed Sterling in a confrontation caught on cellphone video. Both the FBI and local authorities have thus far declined to prosecute Officers Blaine Salamoni and Howie Lake II. The lawsuit alleges that Salamoni pointed his gun at Sterling’s head and threatened to kill Sterling before Sterling started to resist. Based solely on the video, which does not show any threat by Salamoni, I had earlier stated that the shooting appeared to be justified.
In Texas, Fort Worth Officer Courtney Johnson was fired for shooting Craigory Adams with a shotgun for holding a barbecue fork. A criminal trial of Johnson resulted in a hung jury and the District Attorney declined to retry him. Johnson’s defense was that he accidentally shot Adams, a mentally challenged man, who had dropped the fork and gone to his knees, as instructed.
Also in Texas, former state trooper Brian Encinia‘s perjury charges were dropped by agreement after Encinia surrendered his peace officer license. Encinia was the trooper who arrested Sandra Bland before her jailhouse suicide, and who prosecutors believed had lied on his report of the arrest. Without a peace officer license, Encinia cannot work in Texas as a police officer.
In Utah, FBI Special Agent W. Joseph Astarita was indicted for lying to federal investigators. Astarita, a member of the FBI Hostage Rescue Team, is believed to have fired at LeVoy Finicum‘s truck during the roadblock in which Finicum was later shot and killed while reaching for a gun. Apparently no one would ‘fess up to firing the shots, and video showed Astarita picking up what is believed to be shell casings at the scene.
In California, Sacramento Police Officer John Tennis has been given a letter notifying him of the department’s intent to terminate him for the shooting death of mentally ill Joseph Mann. Mann was armed with a knife and was acting erratically. The other officer involved, Randy Lozoya, retired on April 1st. It is not known if the retirement was related to the investigation, and will not be known, due to the California confidentiality laws.