No charges for officer who killed armed man

  • Saturday, February 25, 2017 9:58pm
  • News

FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) — No charges will be filed against an officer who shot and killed an armed man last year.

An investigation found Sgt. Gregory Foster was justified in shooting James Robert Richards, 28, twice in the head.

The Fairbanks Police Department released body camera footage and announced the investigation results Friday.

“Our intent is to disclose as much information as possible and still show respect to Mr. Richards as a human being. So we’re going to show video up through the last shot that was fired, and we’re not going to show anything beyond that,” Police Chief Eric Jewkes said. “It doesn’t explain the incident any more, and we don’t believe, out of respect for Mr. Richards and his family, that there’s any value to provide that.”

Richards was seen walking around downtown Fairbanks while armed with a pistol in August after authorities responded to reports of shots fired in a hotel.

The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reported that officers asked Richards over 55 times to stop and drop his weapon.

He withstood a stun gun and appeared to take a bystander hostage before he was shot.

KTVA-TV reported that testing found alcohol, methamphetamine and marijuana in Richards’ system.

“This is not our goal. This is not what we want to happen. These officers go out to protect and preserve life every single day, and unfortunately, on this day, it required them to take a life to preserve life,” Jewkes said Friday. “We share in the sorrow of Mr. Richards loss with his family and his friends, but I hold fast that the officers did the right thing and they made hard choices. It was up to him to stop it a different way, and James Richards decided not to.”

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