Officer Involved Shooting Justified, Says Washington County DA
WASHINGTON COUNTY, Oklahoma - The Washington County District Attorney's Office says the shooting of a 72-year-old woman by police was justified.
Geraldine Townsend was shot and killed by Bartlesville police when she shot them with a pellet gun while they served a search warrant last month.
District Attorney Kevin Buchanan said he got the results of the OSBI investigation and made the decision not to charge the officer.
He also addressed concerns Townsend's family raised at a news conference Thursday.
For District Attorney Kevin Buchanan the answers are in the evidence.
Buchanan announced Friday his office determined Geraldine Townsend’s shooting was justifiable.
"It doesn't make it less tragic. It doesn't make the officers feel any less bad about what happened they're devastated by this," said Buchanan.
On January 17th, Bartlesville Police shot and killed the 72-year-old after she shot two officers with a B.B. gun while they tried to serve a warrant on her son, Michael Livingston.
"I had to look at with the officers were presented with an order to decide whether this was justified or not. They don't get a chance to interview her." Buchanan said.
Buchanan said he intends to amend the charges against Livingston.
Currently, a convicted felon can carry a replica B.B. gun and not violate the law.
During a news conference Thursday, Townsend’s family contended that because Livingston's former father-in-law was a reserve officer, it caused issues.
"Mr. Livingston has proved that in the past he can commit wrong and he can't blame those on the Bartlesville police department or a failed marriage," said Buchanan.
Buchanan also dismissed the Townsend family's claims that the shooting was racially motivated.
"You know what we got information that someone is selling marijuana and we're going to pursue anybody that's distributing drugs," Buchanan said, "this is a tragedy for their family, it's a tragedy for Mr. Livingston, it's a tragedy for the officers they did not know she was there in the home."
The officer that fired the shot remains on paid leave.