Chattanooga officers cleared in fatal shooting of Javario Eagle
CHATTANOOGA, Tennessee(WDEF) – Six Chattanooga police officers who shot and killed an armed man last December have been cleared of any allegations of wrongdoing.
Wednesday morning, Hamilton County District Attorney Neal Pinkston told reporters that officers Lorin Johnston, Allen Griffith, Tim McFarland, Mitchell Moss, Christopher Palmer and Jacques Weary were justified in using deadly force on Javario Eagle.
“He posed a serious threat to the officers as well as other citizens. After he was shot once, he picked up the weapon pointed it at another officer,” Pinkston said.
Events that led up to the death of Jaravio Eagle began when he called 911 and gave dispatchers what sounded like cryptic statements. The strange conversation carried on for nearly 8 minutes until the dispatcher started hearing screaming over the phone.
News 12 obtained a copy of the 911 call as well as a copy of seven different police dashcam videos.
Officer Cobb was dispatched to Eagle’s Apartment to see if Eagle was mentally disturbed. When Officer Cobb arrived on scene, he encounters Eagle holding a gun. Eagle’s young daughter was with him.
In the police video, officer Cobb is heard telling Eagle to put down his weapon.
The video shows other officers arriving on scene to back up officer Cobb. One of the officers coaxes Eagles daughter to walk away from her armed father. As the girl walks toward the officer, Eagle reportedly approached the officer with a gun in one hand and a sword in the other hand. He was shot once and fell down. While on the ground, he reportedly pointed the gun at another officer when he was shot multiple times. Eagle was pronounced dead at the hospital.
Eagles family is represented by the Chattanooga Concerned Citizens for Justice. The CCCJ told News 12 they believe the officers got away with murder.
“We are going to push as far as we can in terms of making sure these police officers who murdered Javario are held accountable by the courts. We’re going to make sure this family gets the reparations they deserve,” said CCCJ Spokesperson Ashlee Henderson.
The Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office investigated the shooting. According to the official report, there officers were exonerated of any wrongdoing based on eye-witness accounts.
“There were not only police officers as witnesses, but individuals who resided in the Emma Wheeler Homes that came forward and told investigators what they saw. If any of them had video, they provided it,” Pinkston said.
The CCCJ countered that claim by saying investigators didn’t hear from all the witnesses.
“We know there are still witnesses that have not been interviewed and so we don’t think they’ve had all the information they needed at their disposal. One of the reason why they don’t have that information is because people in Wheeler Homes are terrified of the police because police murdered an innocent man,” Henderson said.
None of the offices involved in the incident were injured.