DEL CITY, Okla. — Criminal charges filed against a former Del City Police captain have prompted outcry from an organization that provides firearms training to officers.
18-year-old Dane Scott Jr was shot and killed last year after he ran from police, following a highway chase.
Capt. Randy Harrison faces a manslaughter charge in connection with the teen’s death because prosecutors say the shooting was unnecessary. Witnesses testified last year the teen was shot in the back.
Court documents say Harrison had to wrestle away a handgun from Scott Jr, who then took off on foot.
But near an enclosed area, the teenager was shot by Harrison and also hit with a taser by another officer.
Wednesday, the Oklahoma Association of Law Enforcement Firearms Instructors (OALEFI) said Harrison was justified in shooting the teen because Scott Jr had tried to shoot him during the initial struggle for the handgun.
If Scott Jr had escaped, OALEFI said, he would have been a danger to the public.
“If what he did was wrong, then what we’re teaching our law enforcement officers, both here in Oklahoma and around the country, is then wrong,” Spokesperson James Bowen said.
Scott Jr’s cousin wants Harrison to admit he made a mistake.
“They are sworn officers and they have to tell the truth,” Williams Bryles said. “Be it, maybe not the truth that they have to face, but the hard cold truth.”
Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater disputes OALEFI’s claim that Scott Jr was also running toward the officer with the taser, because a taser dart had been embedded in the teenager’s back.
The case continues next month.