Officer involved in shooting place on administrative leave
Published 8:20 pm Thursday, January 23, 2020
A LaGrange police officer has been placed on administrative leave after shooting a suspect seconds after the officer witnessed that suspect shoot another person on Monday morning, according to LaGrange Police Chief Louis Dekmar.
Dekmar said any time there is an officer-involved shooting, the officer is placed on administrative leave and an internal administrative investigation is triggered. He said the results of that investigation are still pending, and he hopes to have more information by the middle of next week.
The police report filed by the LPD said officer Megan Keith responded to 150 Turner Street to the Tall Pines Apartments for an unknown problem. When Keith arrived at the scene of the incident, she observed an individual, later identified as Patrick Reeves, 19, shoot a male, identified as Jazmen Glanton, 29.
The report said Keith discharged her weapon and hit Reeves in the arm to stop him. Keith then approached the suspect and handcuffed him.
According to the report, Keith, and another officer, performed medical aid to Reeves and Glanton, then both were taken to a local hospital. Later, Glanton was pronounced dead at WellStar West Georgia Medical Center.
Reeves was taken to an Atlanta-area hospital and treated for non-life-threatening injuries.
According to a news release from the Georgia Bureau of Investigations, Glanton was in a domestic altercation with his girlfriend, Phatrial Simms, who is Reeves’ sister.
GBI is investigating the criminal aspect of the case due to the officer-involved shooting. However, Dekmar said the LPD is conducting an internal administrative investigation to see whether or not the actions of the officer were consistent with the department’s policies.
Dekmar said criminal standards and administrative standards are different. He said the criminal standard is proof beyond a reasonable doubt, as where the administrative standard is based on the preponderance of the evidence, meaning is it more likely than not.
“So, you could have an incident where legally, you’re justified, but administratively, it could result in your termination,” Dekmar said.
He said the LPD looks at what is called a “sequence in time analysis,” meaning the investigation determines whether the officer’s actions were consistent with LPD expectations from the moment the officer got on scene to the time the event occurred.
Once the scene is processed, the officer involved is usually separated from the incident, and the department chaplain is called. Also, a supervisor will stay with the officer until the GBI can interview the officer.
Then, the officer is placed on leave until the administrative review is complete. Additionally, Dekmar said the officer must see the police psychologist for an assessment. The psychologist reports to the police chief, who then decides if the officer is cleared to return to work.
If the psychologist clears the officer, but the administrative review isn’t complete, the chief can assign the officer administrative duties within the police department and not in the field.
“I’ve been police chief for 29 years and this has always been my policy,” he said.
As for the criminal element of Monday’s shooting, GBI Assistant Special Agent Jeremy Dockins said the incident is still under review.
As of Thursday, no charges have been filed.