Madison Mayor’s Office releases statement about shooting investigation
MADISON – The Mayor’s Office in Madison released a statement about the Oct. 27 officer-involved shooting investigation shortly after the Madison County District Attorney’s press conference this morning. It reads:
The City of Madison appreciates our community’s patience over the past few weeks. As of today, both the Sheriff’s Department and the District Attorney’s office have completed their reviews and determined that Madison police officers’ use of force in response to the October 27th incident involving Mr. Dana Fletcher was justified.
Madison Mayor Paul Finley stated, “We are encouraged by the patience of the citizens of Madison and the surrounding community. The City has provided space for the investigating law enforcement agencies to do their jobs, and the City has been fully transparent with those agencies throughout the process.”
All law enforcement agencies take the use of deadly force very seriously, and when such force must be used, it is the regular practice of law enforcement agencies to request an independent, outside investigation to ensure accountability. Alabama law requires that cities preserve the confidentiality of all police department documents and recordings related to an incident. This confidentiality is essential to ensuring an independent investigation and to protecting the privacy and constitutional rights of all involved.
The District Attorney’s office has released images that confirm that Mr. Fletcher possessed and threatened officers with a gun prior to the use of lethal force, and the Sheriff’s office determined that the gun and another one in the vehicle both were registered to Mrs. Fletcher. The images and the timeline that the District Attorney has presented help the public to understand what the officers faced before making the decision to use force.
The City’s next step is to conduct an internal critical incident review pursuant to City policy. The police officers who responded to the incident remain on administrative leave while the Madison Police Department conducts this review.
The attorneys for Mr. Fletcher’s family have publicly announced their intention to file a lawsuit concerning the events of October 27. Because litigation is anticipated, and because the video will be evidence in connection with any lawsuit, the City of Madison will have no further comment on the matter at this time and will not publicly release any body camera video of the incident. The City stands behind its officers and will respond appropriately to any lawsuit.
Madison Police Chief David Jernigan said, “Our officers are constantly and consistently receiving training in all areas of 21st century policing, including de-escalation techniques, officer safety, non-lethal options, and response to resistance. All training in the protection of our communities is based on the requirements of the United States Constitution.”
Mayor Paul Finley said, “The City will continue to focus on community policing and what’s most important for every city—the safety and quality of life of all citizens.”