Oklahoma prosecutors clear officers in death of naked teen | TribLIVE.com

Oklahoma prosecutors clear officers in death of naked teen

Associated Press
Sarah Phipps | The Oklahoman
A protester holds a sign at the Edmond Police Department during a Black Lives Matter protest rally honoring the life of Isaiah Lewis, in Edmond, Okla. A prosecutor says police in Edmond were justified when they fatally shot Lewis, who was naked and unarmed. Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater said Monday, Sept. 23, 2019, he could not find probable cause to file criminal charges against Edmond Police Department Sgt. Milo Box and Officer Denton Scherman for the April 29 shooting death of 17-year-old Lewis.

EDMOND, Okla. — A prosecutor declined Monday to file criminal charges against police officers in an Oklahoma City suburb for the fatal shooting of a black teenager who was naked and unarmed.

Edmond Police Department Officer Denton Scherman “was acting pursuant to Oklahoma statute” in an effort to protect himself and Sgt. Milo Box when Scherman fatally shot 17-year-old Isaiah Mark Lewis on April 29, Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater said Monday.

Under state law, an officer is justified in the use of deadly force when the officer “perceived a threat of serious bodily harm to themselves or another person,” Prater said in a statement. Box was diagnosed with a concussion and suffered neck and back injuries following the confrontation with Lewis, and Scherman suffered contusions to his neck and face, Prater said.

Although cleared of criminal charges, the officers are defendants in a lawsuit filed against the city by Lewis’ parents. It claims they used excessive force and acted “unnecessarily and unjustly” when they used a stun gun on their son before fatally shooting him.

An autopsy found Lewis sustained gunshot wounds to his face, thighs and groin. Toxicology tests showed he had detectable amounts of a common antihistamine called diphenhydramine and THC, the active ingredient of marijuana, in his system.

Police said Lewis was naked when he broke into an Edmond home and attacked the two officers. Earlier, 911 callers reported that Lewis had stripped off his clothes as he ran down the street.

The officers have been on paid administrative leave since the shooting.

Categories: News | World
TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.