AG, State’s Attorney won’t charge in fatal officer-involved shooting

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The Vermont Attorney General’s Office won’t be filing charges in an officer-involved shooting in Montpelier. This comes on the heels of a review released by the Washington County State’s Attorney’s Office released Tuesday.

In the August 2019 incident, 62-year-old Mark Johnson pointed what appeared to be a gun at officers. Corporal Chad Bean of the Montpelier Police fired two shots, killing Johnson. The weapon was actually a pellet gun.

Washington County State’s Attorney Rory Thibault detailed their investigation into the incident Wednesday afternoon. He said there continues to be a robust nationwide debate over whether officers should view the cruiser or body cam footage prior to being questioned.

“I felt that after reviewing the initial video and hearing accounts from Cpl. Bean, that the outcome was going to stay the same here,” Thibault said. “That there was a reasonable and justified use of force.”

Meanwhile, Vermont State Police say they offered to interview the officers, with the circumstance that they couldn’t preview the recording ahead of time.
Major Dan Trudeau said they declined. He said they don’t want officers just recanting what they saw in the video.

“We don’t want them to regurgitate what they’re watching on a video,” Maj. Trudeau said. “It’s important for us to capture their recollection and perspective of what they recall from that event “

Both officers involved returned to full duty, a week and a half after the shooting.

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