March 15th, 2019
FORT SMITH- Prosecuting Attorney Daniel Shue of the 12th Judicial District of Arkansas released a Use of Force letter to Fort Smith Police Chief Nathaniel Clark, stating that the use of deadly force was justified in an officer involved shooting which took place in October 2018.
27 year old Samuel Morris was shot by Fort Smith Police Officer Dylan Gray after police arrived and found Morris reportedly threatening a victim at knife point.
The letter, released to the public today by the Fort Smith Police Department, contains many details and witness statements from the investigation. Since the investigation began last year, the department has made efforts to stay transparent with the public regarding the investigation such as releasing an audio recording of the incident and releasing the name of the officer involved.
“I have reviewed the entire investigative file, the CD containing the 911 calls, radio traffic, and witness statements,” said Prosecuting Attorney Daniel Shue. “It is the opinion of this office that the involvement of the Fort Smith Police Department officer in discharging his weapon was justified under the laws of the state of Arkansas.”
Arkansas law states that law enforcement officer is justified in using deadly physical force upon another person if the officer reasonably believes deadly physical force is necessary to
- Effect an arrest or to prevent the escape from custody of an arrested person whom the law enforcement officer reasonably believes has committed or attempted to commit and felon and is presently armed or dangerous; or
- Defend himself or herself or a third person from what the law enforcement officer reasonably believes to be the use of imminent use of deadly physical force.
The full letter from Prosecuting Attorney Daniel Shue can be viewed below by clicking on the images:
EDITORS NOTE: THE IMAGES BELOW CONTAIN GRAPHIC DESCRIPTIONS AND LANGUAGE WHICH MAY NOT BE SUITABLE FOR ALL READERS