Prosecutors won't file charges in Cary hostage stand-off
Posted June 3, 2011
Raleigh, N.C. — Wake County prosecutors said Friday that they won't file charges against four Cary police officers and a Wake County sheriff's deputy involved in a fatal hostage standoff.
Officers shot Devon Mitchell, 19, at least 12 times as he left a Wachovia bank with a hostage on Feb. 10. after a three-hour standoff. Officers opened fire, believing he had a weapon, but later determined he was unarmed.
District Attorney Colon Willoughby said that he reviewed a State Bureau of Investigation report that shows that Mitchell pressed his hand, concealed by a knit cap, against a teller's head. The report says that Mitchell said he was holding a semi-automatic pistol under the cap.
Town manager Ben Shivar said in a statement that the announcement brings closure to a number of investigations into the shooting and an allegation of police brutality.
"Those involved from our police department acted appropriately, lawfully and in accordance with our general orders," Shivar said. "Despite the tragic circumstances surrounding Devon Mitchell’s death, the officers who fired shots have been exonerated, and the one allegation of hostage abuse was found to be baseless and without merit."
The claim of brutality comes from Lee Everett, one of several people inside the bank. He says that officers mistakenly jumped him and dragged him across the parking lot when Mitchell let him go during the stand-off.
Shivar further defended the department against other recent claims of police misconduct, including those made in the recent first-degree murder trial of Brad Cooper, a Cary man convicted of killing his wife in July 2008.
"In every case, the allegations of staff misconduct simply did not stand up," Shivar said. "I am responsible for ensuring that our organization hires and retains the very best, and I believe that Cary continues to be served by talented professionals who are dedicated to doing great work for the citizens of our community.”