A black officer who fatally shot a white woman wielding scissors and using the N-word has been cleared of wrongdoing.
On October 25, Officer Patrick Edmonds, Jr., of the Bossier City Police Department in Louisiana, responded to a disturbance call from the LaQuinta Inn.
Shannon Rupert, a 45-year-old white woman, was wielding a pair a scissors and on the phone in the hotel’s lobby, where she was staying.
“The officer gave multiple verbal commands to Rupert to put down the weapon,” a statement from the Bossier City Police Department said, according to KSLA News 12. “Rupert then aggressively approached the officer with scissors in hand. The officer fired two rounds from his department-issued handgun, striking Rupert in the upper torso.”
Rupert was pronounced dead from the gun shot wounds at a nearby hospital.
Graphic footage from Officer Edmonds’ body camera, which can be viewed below, shows Rupert holding the scissors; she can also be heard calling the officer a “n*****” and daring him to shoot her.
“You’re going to have to shoot me, n*****,” the woman tells the officer before walking over to him. Officer Edmonds promptly fatally shoots Rupert, firing off two rounds.
“What I am disputing is why they could not have used a Taser instead or the dummy bullets because those dummy bullets will knock you down,” questioned Melinda Peterson, Rupert’s cousin.
As noted by KSLA, “It is not yet clear whether Bossier City police officers are issued Tasers.”
“I knew she had been into drugs really bad,” Peterson noted of Rupert. “I tried helping her. I tried talking to her to see if maybe we could get her some help, a recourse. Getting her into rehab or anything like that. She was just out of it.”
On Friday, a review of the incident determined that Edmonds’ fatal shooing of Rupert was justified.
“Based on all evidence reviewed, it is my firm opinion that no crime was committed by the officer as his actions constituted justifiable homicide,” District Attorney Schuyler Marvin said in a letter to Police Chief Shane McWilliams, KSLA reported.
“The circumstances confronting such officer were such that a reasonable belief existed that he was in imminent danger of losing his life or suffering great bodily harm, and the discharge of his firearm was necessary for the prevention of a possible lethal threat,” the letter continued, noting that Rupert “appeared highly animated and erratic in the time period preceding the officer’s arrival.”
“The officer conveyed a clear, concise warning of what would happen if the deceased continued to approach while armed. In immediate response to the officer’s warning, the deceased raised both arms while holding the scissors and moved towards the officer within a distance that appeared to be more than seven or possibly five feet when the officer fired two shots, in immediate succession,” the letter detailed. “The deceased’s intent of movement toward the officer is certain as her momentum continues to carry her forward even after she is shot. The events described herein happened much more quickly than described. Investigating officers interviewed witnesses who were on location before and during the events.”