Oklahoma Officer Cleared Over Shooting, As Video Shows Suspect Pulled Handgun

Simon Veazey
By Simon Veazey
January 26, 2019US News

An Oklahoma police officer has been cleared of wrongdoing for shooting a suspect who drew a handgun and pointed it at the officer’s face.

The suspect survived and was treated for gunshots. He was also charged with assault and battery with a dangerous weapon on top of the charge of armed robbery he had been trying to flee.

The district attorney cleared Sergeant Joshua Lesher after a full investigation, and on Jan. 24 the dramatic footage caught by the squad-car dashcam was released.

The 37-year-old suspect Layland Ted Lewis, Jr. was wanted in Cleveland County for Armed Robbery at the time of the incident.

On Dec. 18, 2018,  Lewis was riding a moped through the streets of Noble, when Sergeant Lesher noticed that his passenger looked underage with no protective gear and initiated a traffic stop.

NTD Photo
Layland Ted Lewis Jr, an armed robbery suspect who was shot three times by a police officer after pointing a handgun at the officer’s face in Noble, Oklahoma on Dec. 18, 2018. (Cleveland County)

In the full video release, the moped pulled up onto the driveway of a house seen later in the video, and the officer went over to talk to the driver as the passenger briefly went inside the house, then came out again.

Lewis gave the officer a false name—Carl Huff—according to local paper Norman Script.

When the name Huff didn’t check out, Lesher prepared to detain him.

$100,000 Bench Warrant

“As Lesher attempted to properly identify Lewis, Lewis pulled a handgun from his jacket and pointed it at Lesher’s face,” read a statement by the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation (OBSI). “Lesher deflected Lewis’ handgun, drew his own firearm and fired, hitting Lewis three times.”

NTD Photo
Police sergeant Joshua Lesher shoots the armed robbery suspect, after deflecting his handgun. (OSBIA)

“Lewis was transported to a local hospital where he was treated and released into the custody of the Cleveland County Sheriff for the Armed Robbery charge. The OSBI was asked to conduct the investigation into the shooting.”

NTD Photo
Police sergeant Joshua Lesher deflects a handgun pointed at him by the suspect. (OSBIA)

“On January 17, 2 019, Cleveland County District Attorney Greg Mashburn cleared Lesher of any criminal wrong-doing in shooting Lewis.”

After Lewis was shot, the moped passenger rushed from behind the vehicle toward the scene, but quickly slowed to a halt and raised his arms as the officer turned and pointed his gun at him.

According to the Norman Script, Lewis told an OSBI agent that he opened his jacket to show Lesher that he had a gun.

Lewis was the subject of a $100,000 bench warrant for failing to appear on the felony armed robbery charge.

Dashcam and body cam footage has increasingly been used as evidence in investigations into police shootings, and the dramatic footage is often publicly released after.

Earlier this month, investigators revealed footage of a how a female police officer survived having a gun pointed at her face, wrestling for control of the weapon inside an SUV until a fellow officer arrived and shot the attacker dead.

The dramatic footage of the incident, captured in July in Lakemoor, Florida was released after the police cleared the officers on Jan. 7.

Kenneth Martell, was wanted for the murder of an 88-year-old man he had robbed and stabbed to death three days earlier.

A police officer on patrol stumbled across Martell sleeping in his car on a gravel path and woke him. As she tried to establish his identity, Martell pulled a gun on the lone officer. She grabbed the gun, screaming and grappling with him for nearly half a minute.

As he was reaching for another gun, a second officer who had driven up only seconds before, walked up to the car and fired a single bullet into his head.

From The Epoch Times

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