A week after a police officer shot and killed ex-Cincinnati Bengal David Lee Turner, the Kern County Sheriff’s Department has concluded its investigation and said the shooting was within department policy.
ABC 23 News in Bakersfield reports that the Sheriff’s Department says Deputy Aaron Nadal was justified in using deadly force because Turner struck him in the back of the head with a bag containing two 24-ounce beer cans.
Even if it’s true that Turner hit Nadal with a bag containing beer cans, the conclusion that Nadal was therefore justified in killing Turner is troubling. And at least one witness says Turner didn’t hit Nadal, and that the Turner only raised the bag he was carrying in response to police officers hitting him.
“I saw the stuff flying because they kept hitting him, and they made the bag fly up because they kept hitting him, but he didn’t hit anybody. He didn’t do anything; he just followed their rules,” said Phyllis Elijah, who was at the scene of the incident. “So then deputies just shot him — execution-style is what I call it. I later hear people screaming, and I heard somebody say, ‘Why did you shoot my dad for no reason?’”
We hope this is not the end of the investigation of the shooting, which took place in front of two of Turner’s teenage children. The Sheriff’s Department shouldn’t be the final arbiter of whether its deputy acted appropriately in killing David Lee Turner.