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Continued: Over and over, shooting probes in Minnesota exonerate officers

Behrenbrinker, the attorney, represented Heilman’s family in a subsequent lawsuit against the LeSueur Sheriff’s Office. The county settled the family’s lawsuit in 2012 for $750,000.

Samuel Walker, professor emeritus at the University of Nebraska Omaha and author of two books on police accountability, said an “independent” review of an officer-involved shooting by the BCA is only “a good first step,” and said cases need to be reviewed outside of a criminal standard.

Walker suggests that the BCA should “broaden their mission” by reviewing whether use-of-force procedures were followed and making recommendations for officer discipline or further training. “It can reduce the likelihood that somebody will be unnecessarily shot and killed,” Walker said.

Evans, with the BCA, said that would “not be an appropriate role for us to play.”

“We are conducting a criminal investigation,” Evans said. “We are not the employer for those individual officers. They are the ones that need to make the determinations if there were any violations of their internal policies and procedures.”

Alejandra Matos • 612-673-4028

 

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