District attorney: Madison police officers justified in shooting death of Dana Fletcher
MADISON COUNTY, AL (WAFF) - The Madison County District Attorney Robert Broussard said in a news conference on Friday morning that Madison police officers were justified in the shooting death of Dana Fletcher and that the case is closed.
A timeline of the incident was provided at the news conference on Friday by the Madison County district attorney’s office:
- 4:40 p.m. - Initial call to 911 made by a concerned citizen. Citizen reported suspicious person asking “weird questions” and taking photos of employees in Planet Fitness.
- 4:43 p.m. - First Madison city police officer arrives on scene, referred to as “Officer 1.” Officer 1 pulls up behind van where Dana Fletcher, his wife and daughter are inside. Dana Fletcher is in the passenger seat and the passenger door is open. Officer 1 approaches passenger door and addresses Dana Fletcher and his wife.
- 4:43 p.m. - Dana Fletcher tries to close passenger door.
- 4:44 p.m. - Officer 1 requests backup
- 4:44 p.m. - Officer 1 radios that Dana Fletcher is reaching for a gun
- 4:44 p.m. - Dana Fletcher tells Officer 1 “go ahead and do it, shoot me” 9 times
- 4:45 p.m. - Dana Fletcher tells officer 1 to “go ahead and shoot me”
- 4:45 p.m. - Officer 1 requests back up
- 4:45 p.m. - Dana Fletcher tells Officer 1 to shoot him in the “third eye” 13 times while pointing to his forehead
- 4:46 p.m. - Dana Fletcher tells Officer 1 “It’s over for you”
- 4:47 p.m. - Dana Fletcher point to forehead, asks Officer 1 “You gonna put it right there?”
- 4:47 p.m. - Officer 1 tells Dana Fletcher, “The last thing I want to do is shoot you”
- 4:47 p.m. - Dana Fletcher tells Officer 1, “That’s the first thing I want you to do"
- 4:47 p.m. - Officer 1 asks Dana Fletcher if he is suicidal, Dana Fletcher responds, “Are you homicidal?”
- 4:47 p.m. - Second Madison City Police officer arrives on scene, referred to as “Officer 2”.
- 4:47 p.m. - Officer 1 tells Officer 2 to go to the driver’s side of the van
- 4:47 p.m. - Dana wife, Charelle Fletcher, locks the driver’s side door
- 4:47 p.m. - Officer 2 orders Cherelle Fletcher to open her door 14 times. Cherelle does not open the door.
- 4:48 p.m. - Two more Madison City Police officers arrive on scene, referred to as “Officer 3” and “Officer 4”. Officer 3 has a K-9.
- 4:48 p.m. - Officers order Dana Fletcher out of the car 12 times
- 4:48 p.m. - Officer 2 breaks driver’s side window
- 4:48 p.m. - Officer 3 tells Dana Fletcher 6 times to exit the van under threat of being bitten by the K-9 unit
- 4:49 p.m. - Officer 3 orders K-9 to bite Dana Fletcher. Dana Fletcher attempts to choke K-9.
- 4:49 p.m. - Officer 2 removes Cherelle Fletcher and Dana’s Fletcher’s daughter from the driver’s side of the van.
- 4:49 p.m. - Officer 1 moves to the driver’s side with Taser drawn toward Dana Fletcher
- 4:49 p.m. - Dana Fletcher reportedly reaches for gun. Officer 1 yells, “Let go of the gun! Let go of the gun! He’s got a gun!”
- 4:49 p.m. - Officer 1 discharges Taser at Dana Fletcher as Fletcher is exiting the passenger side.
- 4:49 p.m. - Dana Fletcher has gun in left hand, reportedly starts to raise toward Officer 3 as he exits the van
- 4:49 p.m. - Dana Fletcher falls on Officer 3 with pistol in left hand
- 4:49 p.m. - Officer 3 fires 4 rounds at Fletcher
- 4:50 p.m. - Officer 2 and a fifth officer now on the scene place Dana Fletcher in handcuffs and begin to render medical assistance
- 4:51 p.m. - Officer 4 picks up Dana Fletcher’s pistol with gloved hands, removes the magazine, and places it on the curb nearby.
Fletcher was later pronounced dead at the scene.
The city of Madison provided a statement following the District Attorney’s news conference. Notably, the officers involved in the shooting remain on administrative leave while the Madison Police Department conducts an internal review.
The statement from the city also reveals body cam footage from the shooting will not be released due to an anticipated lawsuit from Dana Fletcher’s family.
Benjamin Crump, an attorney representing Fletcher’s family, released the following statement:
“We applaud Madison County officials for taking the step to release police evidence from the October 27, 2019 confrontation between Madison Police and Dana Fletcher. We continue to press for full transparency in releasing all the bodycam video and audio files from this incident so we can assess all of the facts of this situation. It is our strong belief that bodycams are an integral part of a transparent and accountable criminal justice system and can provide answers to this family. The ability of the public to observe firsthand the actions of officers is essential to establishing and maintaining trust of law enforcement among the citizens they are sworn to protect. The Fletcher family remains grieving and our thoughts are with them as they mourn and lay Dana to rest
Crump and the family have previously disputed the narrative from law enforcement. Crump said police need to release body camera footage of the incident.
Crump told WAFF on Nov. 10 the family will be filing a wrongful death lawsuit.
Alabama law doesn’t obligate Broussard or law enforcement to release the body camera footage.
Rep. Mike Ball, R-Madison, said keeping the footage suppressed is a good thing during the legal process, but the public deserves transparency.
“Unless there is a compelling reason not to release it at some point, people should know that it’s going to come out in open,” said Ball.
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