ACLU wants to review W.Va. police shooting
State Police Sgt. R.J. Gibson's report on the shooting concluded it was justified
WEIRTON, W.Va. — West Virginia's chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union is seeking documents related to the death of a 23-year-old black man who was fatally shot by police.
The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports that attorneys with the ACLU filed Freedom of Information Act requests last week with both Weirton police and State Police in connection with the May 6 shooting death of Ronald Williams Jr., of McKees Rocks, outside Pittsburgh.
State Police Sgt. R.J. Gibson's report on the shooting concluded it was justified. The report states that Williams was pointing a gun at officers when he was shot in the back of the head outside his ex-girlfriend's house in Weirton.
Williams' blood alcohol content was twice the legal driving limit when he left a club and went to the woman's house, Hancock County prosecutor Jim Davis has said. The woman called 911 after Williams took out a gun and threatened to kill himself in front of her and their child, Davis has said.
The woman later told investigators that Williams said he intended to get shot by police.
The ACLU's Jeff Martin said the organization wants to review whether Weirton police followed correct procedures. Documents the organization is seeking include all surveillance footage near the area where Williams was killed; any footage from police dashboard and/or body cameras; all audio recordings with 911 dispatchers; and any police department communications concerning Williams, including those between department members.
Gibson's report on the shooting states that none of the dashboard cameras on the three police cruisers at the scene were recording because none of the officers had activated the flashing lights, which begin the recording.
The documents the ACLU is seeking could provide insight into how Gibson determined the shooting was justified, Martin said.
Police and prosecutors have not named the officers involved in the shooting.
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