(TMU) – Earlier this year, a 25-year-old woman named Hannah Fizer was shot and killed by an officer with the Pettis County Sheriff’s Office during a traffic stop in Missouri. The officer involved is now back on the job, even after it was determined that she was shot because she reached for her cellphone to record the encounter. At first, the officer, who has still not been named by the department, claimed that Fizer had a gun and threatened to shoot him, but no gun was found after the vehicle was searched.
Special prosecutor Sephen P. Sokoloff ruled that “the shooting, albeit possibly avoidable, was justifiable under current Missouri criminal law,” because the officer believed that she had a gun, and therefore was justified in using any force that he felt was necessary. The officer clearly killed a defenseless woman for no reason, but he did not violate any laws or policies, which is exactly why people across the country have been protesting for months.
In a written statement, Sokoloff claimed that there was “evidence” that she threatened to shoot the police officer and told the officer she had a gun, even though she didn’t. This claim was made despite the fact that no evidence of a gun was found, and no recordings of the incident were released or even referenced. The only evidence that indicated that she claimed to have a weapon was the testimony of the officer, but all of the other evidence collected contradicted his claims, which means that there is a very good chance that he has been lying about the entire encounter. Still, Sokoloff took the officer’s word at face value and seemed to ignore all of the other evidence, while suggesting that it is ok for police to kill people if they reach down during a traffic stop.
In his statement, Sokoloff wrote:
“The evidence indicates that the deceased, who had been stopped for multiple traffic violations and who had refused to provide any information to the officer, had advised him that she was recording him, and then shortly thereafter, that she had a gun and was going to shoot him. At the time the officer discharged his weapon, she had reached down into the floorboard of the car and raised up towards him. Based on the information and circumstances available to the officer during the event, it cannot be said that the officer did not have a reasonable belief that he was in danger of serious physical injury or death from the actions of the deceased at the time he fired.”
Family and friends say that she was on her way to work and that she was a friendly person who never carried weapons. They are finding the officer’s version of events very hard to believe.
Hannah Fizer, 25, was killed Saturday night in Sedalia, Missouri driving to her job as an assistant manager at a convenience store. She was pulled over because she was ran a red light while speeding and kept going as the deputy tried to stop her, patrol Sgt. Bill Lowe said Monday.“The suspect allegedly threatened the deputy by stating she was armed and going to shoot him,” the patrol said in a news release. “The incident escalated and the deputy discharged his weapon, striking the suspect.”There was no available dashboard camera or body camera footage of the shooting. The county sheriff, Kevin Bond, said his department doesn't have or use such technology.
Posted by David Handy on Tuesday, June 16, 2020
People across the United States have become fed up with police and are now calling for radical changes to the criminal justice system because these types of violent encounters are happening on a daily basis, and there is rarely any accountability for the officers involved.
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