Commonwealth’s attorney Denise Lunsford has decided not to charge anybody with a crime in the shooting of a man during a police raid on his home, reports the Daily Progress. Police conducted an early morning raid on the home of one of the two kids who shot up cars on Route 64 twenty four hours previously, and they were met by the boy’s father, Edgar Dawson, who was wielding a revolver. Police told the man to drop a gun, but he refused, and he and officer M.J. Easton exchanged fire. The man was shot twice, and hospitalized for a time as a result. The state police investigated, and turned the matter over to Lunsford. In an interview with WINA, Lunsford said that both men believed that they were in danger of harm at the time that they exchanged fire, and figured that it would be neither useful nor necessary to charge either man with a crime.
9 thoughts on “No Charges in Police Raid Shooting”
I’m no fanboy of no-knock dawn raids–but that guy is lucky he’s alive, and now he’s lucky he’s not being indicted. Doubt it would be same if Camblos were involved.
I’m inclined to agree on both counts. When a police officer with a gun drawn orders you to drop your weapon, you’d best drop it. Honestly, the guy’s lucky he wasn’t charged (or killed). It sounds to me like the officer had every cause to open fire.
Doesn’t sound like he was exactly a father of the year candidate, either. Not to blame the guy for his mostly grown sons’ actions, but he does not seem to have been the best role model.
Maybe he would not have been so surprised that the police were pounding on his door in the middle of the night if he had been aware of what his son had been doing (i.e., shooting at houses and cars) a few nights before.
My gripe here is the investigation was completed and results released. So far so good. The results of the investigation by local police was not released because “it is a personnel matter”.
Why was one a “personnel matter” and not the other? The excuse of “personnel matter” is used far too often to conceal matters of record. I can`t help but think this merely a crutch and a poor one at that. I suspect the rules are stretched in any case in which concealment is desireable.
Thia applies across the board, not merely the police. These evasions are weak and I fault the media for not challenging some of these statements and relentlessly “following up”.
I wonder if the man had reason to doubt that he was dealing with actual police officers? Were they in plain clothes or something? Or maybe it was dark and they were pointing flashlights right at his face, preventing him from seeing their uniforms and badges.
If somebody busted down my door in the middle of the night and did so in such a way that I could not see for certain that they were police officers, I would probably react in a similar fashion. It’s sad that it went down that way, but I’m glad that nobody got killed and they aren’t pressing charges against the guy. If there is reasonable doubt as to whether the man was certain that they were police officers then getting shot twice is probably punishment enough.
It seems like the community might evaluate the strategic decision by leadership to employ such a violent tactic on a home known to be occupied by peaceable non-criminal citizens. The tactical raid was well executed, but it is designed to surprise and confuse the occupants leaving only fractions of a second for groggy husbands/fathers to decide whether or not to defend their families at 4:30 AM. Obviously, this strategy turned out badly in this case, with an innocent man with no charges or record being shot and disabled. It’s great to get the bad guys off the street but do we want to do it in a way that good guys are likely to be shot? My prayers go out for Mr Dawson and Officer Easton in the aftermath of this. This could be an opportunity for the community to decide that we want to do it better.
This is NOT legal advice. IANAL
Contrary to popular belief… It is perfectly legal to defend yourself against anyone, including a police officer. It is not legal to resist arrest by force (or any other means). The two are often confused. This man was not under arrest and thus cant resist arrest.
“§ 18.2-91.2. Use of force in defense of person.
A person is justified in using force, other than deadly force, against another when the person reasonably believes that such force is necessary to defend himself or another against another’s imminent use of unlawful force. However, a person is justified in the use of deadly force and does not have a duty to retreat if he reasonably believes that such force is necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to himself or another or to prevent the imminent commission of an unlawful act involving force or violence.”
Show me where it says “unless its a police officer”.
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