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No charges to be filed against MPD officer in 2018 fatal shooting

By Updated: June 11, 2019 3:20 PM CT | Published: June 11, 2019 1:58 PM CT

No charges will be filed against the officer involved in the fatal shooting of Terrence Carlton, a man killed last year during an officer-involved shooting on Summer Avenue.

Shelby County Dist. Atty. Amy Weirich said Tuesday her office will not pursue charges against the officer because, according to her, he acted in self-defense even though Carlton was unarmed at the time of the shooting.

The officer has been identified by MPD as Lt. Andrew Brown. Brown has been an officer with MPD since Sept. 29, 1997. 

Weirich’s office began investigating the incident after the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation turned over its findings from the investigation to her office in February.

County and state elected officials called on the TBI to investigate all officer-involved shootings in Memphis and Shelby County, not just when the victim dies as was the case in the past.

Since Weirich has decided not to charge the officer, the full TBI file was made public on the District Attorney’s website. 

“The officer was in uniform and in the act of lawfully apprehending a suspect wanted in two nearby shootings that occurred a short time earlier,” Weirich said in a letter to Memphis Police Director Michael Rallings. “The suspect’s threats and actions gave the lieutenant abundant reason to fear for his life and to act with lethal force in self-defense.”

Carlton, 25, was shot and killed in the 4400 block of Summer Avenue near Berclair April 21, 2018.

Police said Carlton matched the description of a suspect who had allegedly robbed and wounded two people in the area. Police said one of the victims knew Carlton by name and another victim later identified him in a photo spread.

The day of the shooting, police said Brown was in a squad car when he saw Carlton, who matched the description of the man accused in the earlier shooting of two people, walking on Summer and Berclair.

“The officer pulled up and ordered him to stop, but Carlton began running and then stumbled and fell,” according to a press release about the incident.

Authorities said Brown drew his weapon and ordered Carlton to show his hands, but the officer told authorities that Carlton had something dark in his hand and quickly rolled over on the ground and shouted “I’m going to kill you m-------.”

Brown fired twice, hitting Carlton in the abdomen. He was taken to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead. Police said during the autopsy, two other bullets were found in Carlton’s body and they appear to have been from old gunshot wounds.

According to police, the lab report from the autopsy showed Carlton had amphetamine, methamphetamine, oxycodone and marijuana in his system.

The incident was recorded on Brown’s body camera. The shooting was also recorded on an area business’s surveillance camera.

Police said they found a cellphone near Carlton’s body, and officers located a 40-caliber pistol in the 4400 block of Tutwiler. The TBI lab results showed the gun matched the gun casings in the other two shootings that occurred on Berclair. Carlton’s DNA was also on the weapon’s magazine, authorities said.

Carlton’s mother has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the city, the police department, Brown and any other officers involved in the shooting.

Marlene Alexander filed the 12-page federal lawsuit April 23 on behalf of her son. The suit alleges the officer who killed her unarmed son used excessive force and violated his civil and constitutional rights.

The suit claims that after the shooting, the officers failed to get immediate medical help for Carlton. He was taken to Regional One Health, where he later died. Carlton’s mother is seeking $50 million compensatory and $50 million in punitive damages.

Topics

Officer-Involved Shooting Memphis Police Department Shelby County District Attorney’S Office
Yolanda Jones

Yolanda Jones

Yolanda Jones covers criminal justice issues and general assignment news for The Daily Memphian. She previously was a reporter at The Commercial Appeal.


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