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Official: Investigations into shootings by police aren't rushed
Investigators said they could not prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Nadeau had engaged in criminal behavior when he shot DeJesus in the head as the man was trying to escape arrest, fleeing in his car.
The Attorney General's Office last year did find the fatal shooting of Wendy Lawrence of Canterbury - on Sept. 30, 2013, in Manchester - was a justified use of deadly force. State Trooper Chad Lavoie fired at Lawrence, 45, when she drove toward him after he ordered her to stop, hitting her four times.
"If you're standing outside and somebody's trying to run you down in a car, I don't think anyone would question that you're in a life-or-death situation."
Charles Reynolds is a retired New Hampshire police chief who now monitors consent decrees between some of the largest police departments in the country and the U.S. Department of Justice. Such agreements usually require an "absolute prohibition" on police firing at fleeing vehicles, he said.
"All you do is take this 2,000- or 4,000-pound missile and make it totally unguided."
But Strelzin said police officers are "damned if they do, and damned if they don't" in such situations.
Toxicological tests found that Lawrence had a blood-alcohol content of .182, and also had marijuana, Oxycodone and Prozac in her bloodstream on the day of the shooting, according to the Attorney General's Office. She had lost her driver's license because of DWI convictions; had prior convictions for drug possession, resisting arrest and welfare fraud; and was a habitual offender.
And last month, lawyers for the family of 34-year-old Ben Shannon, who died after being shot at his mother's home in Rochester on March 10, filed a wrongful-death lawsuit against the Strafford County sheriff's and probation departments.
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