Prosecutors rule Poultney VSP officer involved shooting was justified

Rutland, Vt. - On Tuesday, Vermont Attorney General, Thomas J. Donovan and Rutland Country State’s Attorney, Rosemary Kennedy announced during a press conference that after two separate reviews that the officer involved shooting that happened in September in Poultney was justified.

A media release states that investigations determined that the Vermont State Police Major Crime Unit was reasonable and justified in the use of deadly force in the death of Michael Battles, 32 of Poultney during a standoff.

Officials say on August 31, the Rutland County Sheriff’s Office went to a reported domestic complaint at the Poultney residence where a woman said Battles had assaulted her and threatened to kill her. Police say the victim left the home on foot and claimed Battles assaulted her in the neighbor’s yard.

According to police, a witness saw the altercation outside. When a Vermont State Police trooper responded, police say Battles began yelling at the officers from a second story window and refused to come down.

Police say a perimeter was established and Rutland County Sheriff’s Department, Vermont State Police, Castleton Police, and Fair Haven Police came to assist.

At around 11 p.m. Vermont State Police Tactical Services Unit, along with members of the Crisis Negotiation Unit took over.

According to police, Battles would not leave the home. A judge signed a search warrant just after midnight as well an arrest warrant on a charge of aggravated assault.

Police say just after 2 a.m. Battles was seen holding a silver revolver and say it was pointed it at troopers. A media release from December 5, states the described firearm was a fully loaded BB gun.

According to the VSP media release, Battles was shot by the five troopers – all members of the Tactical Services Unit. They were placed on paid administrative leave after the shooting.

Police say Battles died from a single gunshot wound to the head.

Full Disclosure: An employee of Local 22 & Local 44 is related to one of the trooper's involved.


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