Sheriff: DCI also deemed use of force appropriate in April fatal - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Sheriff: DCI also deemed use of force appropriate in April fatal shooting, deputy back on duty

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Eau Claire County (WQOW)-   The Eau Claire County deputy involved in a fatal shooting in April has been authorized to return to duty. A release from the Eau Claire County Sheriff's Office said the use of force by Deputy Dustin Walters has been deemed appropriate by the DCI, the Eau Claire County District Attorney and the Eau Claire County Sheriff's Office. 

In a release Friday, Eau Claire County Sheriff, Ron Cramer, said Wisconsin's Department of Criminal Investigation determined the use of deadly force by Deputy Walters was appropriate. Cramer said to remain transparent his office requested the DCI investigate. The sheriff's office recently received the final investigative report, Cramer said his office supports the findings, and Deputy Walters has been authorized to return to duty. 

The Eau Claire County district attorney also released a report on Friday calling Walter's use of force justified. 

In his release Cramer also noted that officer involved shootings are difficult not only for a law enforcement agencies, but the community as well. He said, "I will assure you we are committed to providing training, guidance and support to our employees so they are prepared and able to handle the difficult nature of our profession which is being protectors of our community." Sheriff Cramer reiterated, “It is clear Deputy Walters was placed in a dangerous situation because of David Mack’s actions. Deputy Walters made a difficult but necessary decision to utilize deadly force and this decision was based on his training and experience including adherence to office policy and best practices.”

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Release from Eau Claire County Sheriff's Office: Eau Claire County District Attorney Gary King contacted the Eau Claire County Sheriff’s Office providing his opinion and summary of the officer involved shooting that occurred on April 3, 2016, involving Eau Claire County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Walters. The District Attorney, based on the investigation completed by the Wisconsin Department of Justice – Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI), determined the use of deadly force was appropriate.

The Sheriff’s Office investigates all types of criminal cases that occur in its jurisdiction, however to remain transparent we requested DCI investigate the use of force incident. The Sheriff’s Office recently received the final investigative report from DCI. Our Office believes DCI completed a comprehensive and thorough criminal investigation resulting in an objective evidence-based report and we support the findings.

The Sheriff’s Office, per departmental policy, reviews critical incidents to ensure the incident was conducted in accordance with best practices, policies/procedures and state statutes. Our review of this incident incorporated DCI reports, findings of the District Attorney, sheriff’s office policy/procedures, and state standards. The outcome of the review confirmed Deputy Walters performed his duties appropriately and in compliance with the above standards. As a result of the findings of both the criminal and internal review Deputy Walters has been authorized to return to duty.

Officer involved shootings are difficult not only for a law enforcement agencies, but the community as well. I will assure you we are committed to providing training, guidance and support to our employees so they are prepared and able to handle the difficult nature of our profession which is being protectors of our community. Sheriff Cramer and Administrative staff would like to reiterate, “It is clear Deputy Walters was placed in a dangerous situation because of David Mack’s actions. Deputy Walters made a difficult but necessary decision to utilize deadly force and this decision was based on his training and experience including adherence to office policy and best practices.”

I want to thank the citizens of Eau Claire County for your understanding and support while the necessary process of the criminal and administrative review took place. Thank you to all members of the Eau Claire County Sheriff’s Office Including Deputy Walters for the difficult work you do every day while maintaining a high standard of professionalism in Law Enforcement.

Respectfully – Sheriff Ron Cramer

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