No charges filed against Durham officer in shooting death
Posted March 12, 2014
Durham, N.C. — The Durham County District Attorney's Office said Wednesday that no charges will be filed against a police officer in the fatal shooting last fall of a Durham man during a standoff on CCB Plaza.
Derek Deandre Walker, 26, was waving a gun and shouting on the downtown plaza on Sept. 17, police said. WRAL News video from the scene showed what appeared to be Walker repeatedly saying "shoot me" while pointing his gun at officers or at his head.
Walker had posted on his Facebook page earlier in the day that he was upset about a custody dispute over his 5-year-old son and that he hoped to die soon.
Police surrounded Walker on the plaza and tried to persuade him to drop his gun, but negotiations failed. After an hour-long standoff, Walker again pointed the gun at officers, and Cpl. R.C. Swartz shot Walker in the chest with a rifle.
Walker died on the way to Duke University Hospital.
District Attorney Leon Stanback said in a statement Wednesday that he reviewed a State Bureau of Investigation report on the shooting – it included 38 eyewitness statements, transcripts of 911 calls, interviews with people who knew Walker and his Facebook posts – and determined there was no probable cause to charge Swartz in the shooting.
Swartz, who joined the Durham Police Department in 2001 and is assigned to the Special Operations Division, was on administrative leave with pay for several weeks after the shooting. He returned to regular duty in November.
The report was the third and final SBI investigation of police-involved shootings in Durham since last summer. No charges were filed in the July shooting death of Jose Ocampo or the November death of Jesus Huerta in police custody, although investigators are taking a second look at Huerta's death after receiving an anonymous tip.