Deputy who was dragged 100ft by suspect will not face charges in fatal OIS
The district attorney labeled the deputy’s decision to jump into the suspect vehicle as “unusual,” but said that his use of force was necessary
MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A Tennessee sheriff’s deputy who fatally shot a 21-year-old man during a traffic stop won’t be criminally charged, a prosecutor announced on Tuesday.
Jarveon Hudspeth was shot and killed June 24 by a Shelby County Sheriff’s Office deputy after the deputy approached his car and tried to stop it from leaving the scene, according to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.
Videos of the traffic stop show a deputy holding onto the car’s steering wheel and being carried away as the vehicle speeds off, but does not show the moment when the deputy shot the driver.
The deputy was hospitalized in critical condition but has since been released.
“It is still not clear to us what the reason was for the traffic stop,” Shelby County District Attorney Steve Mulroy told news outlets. “What is clear is that Mr. Hudspeth, when he’s outside the vehicle talking with the deputy, had been instructed by the deputy not to reenter his vehicle. He nonetheless did so and started to drive away.”
When Hudspeth drove off, he “dragged” the deputy about 100 yards (91 meters), the bureau said in a statement, and at some point the deputy fired his gun at least once and hit the driver.
Mulroy called it an instance of a law enforcement officer placing himself in danger.
“We will say, and our declination letter does say, that the decision of the deputy to jump into the vehicle at that point was unusual,” he said. “Had he backed away, deadly force would not have been necessary. This is another instance of what we have sometimes seen as we review these cases, where officers take actions that place themselves in danger and then there is a need — tragically — for the use of deadly force.”