Civil Liberties

Weekend Police Killing of 107-Year-Old Man Won't Be Investigated by Arkansas State Police Because Request Was Too Broad, Came Too Late

Prosecutor asked for state police to investigate totality of the circumstances


shot by cop

Centenarian Monroe Isadore was killed by SWAT officers in Pine Bluff, Arkansas during a shoot out. Isadore refused to leave his bedroom, and according to police, shot at them when they tried to approach the room. The police say they tried and failed to negotiate, and then tried to smoke him out, leading Isadore to shoot again.  Cops say they were responding to an aggravated assault at the residence, but have not commented on what role they might suspect Isadore to have played in the incident.

The killing led to a town hall meeting Monday, and the city prosecutor, Kyle Hunter, was assigned to investigate, saying his job was to determine whether the actions were justified. Hunter requested an investigation by the state police, who were not called in following the killing of the 107-year-old Isadore, but, the Arkansas Times reports, state police declined Hunter's request:

With the lapse in time, [Arkansas State Police's Bill] Sadler said, the crime scene has been compromised, the local law enforcement agency (the Pine Bluff PD) has already processed the evidence, and the witnesses were (long since) no longer sequestered. "It's a credibility issue and a forensic issue," he said.

"APB routinely responds to those requests when they come in in a timely matter," he said. He said that requests typically come within 30 to 40 minutes after deadly force was used.  Sadler said that there was no law or protocol requiring local authorities to call in the state police in a situation in which an officer uses deadly force. "That is the choice of the local jurisdiction," he said. If called, they could have arrived within half an hour, he said. "We would have immediately responded."

The state police spokesperson also said the request was too broad. Hunter had asked state police to investigate the "totality of all circumstances." The cop who shot and killed Isadore is on paid leave.