Internal Investigation Shows Post Falls Police Officer Was Justified In Fatal Shooting
**Official Release From Post Falls Police Department**
POST FALLS, Idaho - On March 12, 2012 the Post Falls Police Department was providing assistance to the Idaho State Police in a vehicle pursuit which resulted in the use of deadly force used by some of the officers involved.
At approximately 2:19 A.M., a Nissan Sentra passed through the regional License Plate Recognition system on Interstate 90. The LPR system alerted the Post Falls Police Department 911 Center that the driver of the vehicle, a Justin Earl Todd, was wanted by the Kootenai County Violent Crime Task Force for crimes they were investigating.
Additionally, the system reported that there was probable cause to stop the vehicle, as the driver was the subject of an investigation and had a felony warrant for his arrest. The officers were notified that Mr. Todd was an officer safety concern and they should use caution in dealing with him.
An Idaho State Police Trooper located the vehicle in Post Falls near Hwy 41 and Seltice Way. The Trooper attempted to stop the vehicle, the driver refused to stop for the Trooper, and a pursuit ensued. Post Falls Officers, who were in the area, responded to assist the lone ISP Topper.
The pursuit continued through Post Falls, Coeur d' Alene and into the City of Hayden. The investigation indicates that after several pit maneuvers to stop the vehicle, Mr. Todd skidded to a stop in the yard at the end of St. Estephe court. The Idaho State Police Trooper, and the two Post Falls Police Officers, Officer Aaron Ogle and Officer Brad Johnson got out of their cars and approached Todd's vehicle in an attempt to take him into custody. Officers audibly directed Mr. Todd to surrender and get out of his vehicle. Mr. Todd disregarded these orders, backed up rapidly, and then accelerated forward, toward the ISP Trooper, who had exited his vehicle. As a result of this life threatening action to the Trooper's life, both Post Falls Officers fired at the driver in an attempt to stop the potentially fatal threat to the Trooper. The driver was declared dead as a result of the incident. The Trooper was struck by Mr. Todd and received injuries as a result of these actions.
As is normal protocol in these types of incidents, the Region One, Critical Investigations Team was activated to investigate this matter. The Kootenai County Sheriff's Department, with the assistance of the Coeur d' Alene Police Department conducted an independent investigation into this matter.
They concluded their investigation and forwarded their findings to the Kootenai County Prosecutor for review. The Kootenai County Prosecutor elected to have the case reviewed by an independent Prosecutor and forwarded the case to Prosecutor Louis Marshall in Bonner County.
On Tuesday, July 31, 2012 Prosecutor Marshall provided his decision in this matter.
Prosecutor Marshall stated in his opinion "After this review I am of the opinion that the officers involved in this incident acted appropriately and in accordance with the law under the particular circumstances of the incident".
Later he states, "Taking into account all of the facts listed above, I am of the opinion that the officers associated with this situation handled the incident in a lawful manner. Thus I do not believe that criminal legal action should be taken by the State of Idaho against the officers involved".
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