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Use of deadly force justified in November’s officer-involved shooting

The use of deadly force by a Bannock County Sheriff’s Deputy during a Nov. 23, 2018 traffic stop has been deemed justified, according to documents from the Power County Prosecutor.

The incident occurred in Chubbuck when a vehicle was pulled over for failing to stop at a stop sign. During the stop, officers smelled marijuana. When the driver of the vehicle told officers he had been smoking, all the occupants were told to exit the car.

Soon after, one passenger attempted to flee the scene. When officers chased the 16-year-old down, a struggle ensued.

The suspect, identified in reports only as “T.K.” was tased and tackled but would not stop resisting arrest.

“T.K.” was “overpowering” one officer, striking him and wrapping his hands around the officer’s neck.

Another officer, fearing that “T.K.” might continue to harm the other officer and potential grab one of the firearms off his duty belt, decided to use deadly force. The officer, whose name will not be released, then fired one shot into the right kidney of “T.K.”

According to information from the Critical Incident Task Force Memorandum, “the placement of the shot demonstrates [REDACTED] intent was to stop the fight with as little harm to T.K. as possible, not to kill T.K. Furthermore, the firing of only one round demonstrates restraint…Based on the analysis above, the use of force was justifiable.”

The investigation was led by the Power County Sheriff’s Office and the results were reviewed by Power County Prosecutor, Anson Call.

Since “T.K.” is being charged as a juvenile, much of the information and any bodycam footage from the arrest will not be released.

Bannock County Prosecutor Stephen Herzog said specific information about why “T.K.” was charged as a juvenile instead of as an adult would also not be released.

The unnamed officer has been back on patrol since the Bannock County Sheriff’s Office received word that his actions were justified about a week ago.

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