An Arkansas State Trooper who fatally shot a Warren man in Bradley County on October 17 was justified in his use of deadly force, according to 10th Judicial District Prosecutor Thomas Deen.
Arkansas State Trooper Garrett Brock on October 17 fatally shot Christopher Dequan Crosby, 34, of Warren, after Crosby advanced toward the officer firing gunshots. One of Crosby’s shots struck the hood of the trooper’s vehicle close to where the trooper stood, according to Deen’s November 1 letter explaining his decision not to file charges against the trooper. The full text of Deen’s November 1 letter follows:
I have carefully reviewed the investigative report submitted as to the October 17 incident in which Trooper Garrett Brock attempted to initiate a traffic stop of Christopher Crosby. The report reflects that Crosby fled, and when his passenger asked to be let out, Crosby refused and stated that he had a pistol. When Crosby lost control of his vehicle and wrecked minutes later, the passenger stated that Crosby emerged armed with a handgun.
As seen from the dash camera, Crosby exited the vehicle, raised a handgun and began advancing on the trooper while firing his weapon, despite the trooper’s repeated command to show his hands. One of Crosby’s rounds struck the hood of the trooper’s vehicle, close to where he stood. The trooper immediately returned fire, striking Crobsy twice and killing him instantly.
A person is under Arkansas law justified in using deadly physical force if he or she reasonably believes that another is using or about to imminently use unlawful deadly force. A law enforcement officer is under no duty to retreat (although no retreat could have been safely effected in this situation in any event). Arkansas Code Ann. §§ 5-2-607 & 610.
Given the circumstances, Trooper Brock unquestionably acted lawfully and was justified in using deadly force. The consequences are regrettable, but Crosby made his own choices, and the trooper had no other option to save himself from serious injury or death.