The Denver District Legal professional’s Workplace on Wednesday launched two choices letters on deadly police shootings earlier this yr, clearing officers of prison expenses within the incidents.
The separate shootings occurred Might 30 and June 13, ensuing within the deaths of Shannon Wright and Duane Manzanares, respectively. Wright was shot at South Platte River Drive and West Alameda Avenue, Manzanares at 8890 E. Colfax Ave. Each males had been armed, Wright with a rifle and Manzanares with a handgun tucked into the again waistband of his pants.
The DA’s investigation concluded that the shootings of Wright and Manzanares had been legally justified and that no prison expenses are warranted in opposition to the Denver officers concerned, in response to the Aug. 4 choice letters to Denver Police Chief Paul Pazen.
Officers William Bartz and Richard Eberharter had been concerned within the capturing of Wright. Officers Samuel Bailey, Ryan Nelson and Steven Whiteman had been concerned within the capturing of Manzanares.
On Might 30, police acquired a name a few man, Wright, carrying a rifle who had simply left a retailer with out paying for gadgets. Wright advised the shop clerk that he was “out tonight capturing police,” in response to the choice letter.
Bartz and Eberharter responded and encountered Wright with a rifle slung over his shoulder. The officers commanded Wright to drop the weapon, however he as an alternative raised the rifle and pointed it on the pair, the choice letter stated. Bartz, armed with a rifle, fired twice. Eberharter, armed with a handgun, fired thrice. Wright was taken to an area hospital the place he died. Investigators recovered a weapon, a Norinco SKS assault rifle, on the scene together with a plastic bag of ammunition.
The officers had been pressured to make a split-second choice to shoot Wright in self-defense and the protection of others, in response to the letter signed by District Legal professional Beth McCann.
Their motion was justified beneath Colorado regulation and authorized necessities, the letter stated.
Manzanares was shot June 13 on East Colfax Avenue after he fired a handgun at a Mercedes-Benz vehicle. When officers encountered him the gun was tucked into the again waistband of his pants, the choice letter stated. Manzanares refused orders to lift his palms and was argumentative with police. He reached for the gun within the small of his again, which the officers had noticed whereas responding to the incident, and the officers fired.
Bailey fired 4 instances, Nelson twice and Whiteman 5 instances, in response to the letter.
Manzanares, who lived in Pueblo, was in Denver on the time as a result of his 8-year-old son had been identified with leukemia and was in an space hospital.
Officers’ physique digicam footage was among the many proof thought-about in each capturing investigations. Like within the Wright capturing, officers made a split-second choice primarily based on their security and the security of others, in response to the Manzanares choice letter.
Manzanares’ members of the family, together with his mom, Mary Ann Medina, attended a presentation by the DA’s workplace Wednesday, which included viewings of physique digicam footage.
“I watched the video, it was a disgusting show of organized crime,” Medina stated of the capturing. “They cold-blooded murdered my son.”
Officers made no try and de-escalate the encounter, Medina stated.
Manzanares had reached to his again pocket for a bottle of whiskey when he was shot, she stated.
“My son didn’t wish to die, you can see it in his face.”
McCann will focus on the instances and current findings in an online community meeting on Tuesday, Aug. 17, at 5:30 p.m. at https://bit.ly/3C715gR.