Family Upset Race Wasn't Considered When Shooting Of Gunman Was Ruled Justified

Dana Sherrod Fletcher pointed a .40-caliber handgun at a Madison police officer during the fatal altercation.

Madison, AL – Five Madison police officers are back on active duty following the Oct. 27 shooting death of an armed suspect in a Planet Fitness parking lot.

On Nov. 22, the Incident Review Board determined that the officers “acted according to department policies and procedures” during the fatal encounter, WAAY reported.

Madison County District Attorney Rob Broussard announced that his office also cleared the officers of any wrongdoing on Nov. 15, according to The Birmingham News.

“The evidence in this case is crystal clear,” Broussard said. “The actions of Madison Police Department were entirely justified.”

Madison City Police Chief David Jernigan has since returned the five officers involved in the shooting to full duty without any restrictions, WAAY reported.

In addition to other evidence, investigators used surveillance footage and bodycam videos to piece together the events that led to the deadly altercation.

Madison police responded to the Planet Fitness location at 8050 Highway 27 West, after a citizen reported that a man was taking videos and photos of employees and asking them “weird questions,” Madison County Prosecutor Tim Gann explained during a press conference.

The suspect, later identified as 39-year-old Dana Sherrod Fletcher, had already been trespassed from two businesses in the area that same day for similar behavior, Gann said.

The first Madison police officer arrived at the scene at 4:43 p.m., and made contact with Fletcher as he was standing outside the open passenger side door of a van in the parking lot.

Fletcher’s wife and daughter were also inside the vehicle, Gann said.

“Immediately, Mr. Fletcher becomes aggressive towards this officer,” and attempted to shut the van door on him, according to the prosecutor.

“The officer continues to speak with Mr. Fletcher, but things go south pretty quickly,” Gann continued.

As the suspect became increasingly belligerent and noncompliant, the officer radioed for additional units to respond to his location.

Approximately two minutes into the officer’s conversation with Fletcher, the aggressive suspect pointed at his forehead and ordered the officer to “shoot me right here in the third eye,” Gann said.

He repeated the command 13 times, according to the prosecutor.

“You better shoot me if you’re smart,” Fletcher added, according to Gann.

A minute later, the suspect reached over and grabbed a gun.

“It’s over for you,” he told the officer, according to Gann.

“When he touches the weapon, the Madison officer pulls his service weapon and instructs Mr. Fletcher to take his hands off the gun,” the prosecutor said.

Although Fletcher initially complied, he immediately became belligerent again and ordered the officer to shoot him.

At one point, the officer asked the suspect if he was suicidal.

“Are you homicidal?” Fletcher responded, according to Gann.

The officer repeatedly tried to de-escalate the situation, but the suspect “wasn’t having it,” the prosecutor added.

Recognizing that Fletcher was likely going to become combative, the officers instructed the suspect’s wife to get out of the vehicle for her own safety approximately 14 times.

She refused, and locked her driver’s side door.

A second officer broke out the driver’s side window in an attempt to get the woman and her child out of the vehicle, Gann said.

The officers tried to forcibly remove Fletcher from the vehicle, but he initially fought them off.

The suspect was warned that a K9 would be deployed if he did not comply, but he remained inside the van as police finally managed to extract his wife and daughter from the vehicle.

Fletcher attempted to choke the K9 when it was deployed, then grabbed his gun and began exiting the passenger side of the van, Gann said.

One officer fired his Taser as he alerted his fellow officers that Fletcher was coming out with a gun.

The weapon was later identified as a .40-caliber Taurus, Gann said.

One Taser probe struck the armed suspect in the back, but the other did not make contact.

As Fletcher came out of the vehicle, he raised the weapon towards an officer as the K9 grabbed onto his right foot, Gann explained.

The K9 handler who was trying to pull Fletcher out of the van fell to the ground, at which point the suspect aimed his gun at the officer’s chest and head as he tumbled down on top of him, according to the prosecutor.

“The K9 officer was able to get his gun out and fired four rounds at Mr. Fletcher,” Gann said.

Another officer at the scene also fired his duty weapon at the suspect.

Fletcher was hit twice in the head, once in the shoulder, and also had various graze wounds, Broussard told reporters during the press conference.

Fletcher’s family has since asked Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall to review the case, claiming that the investigators’ findings conflicted with bystanders’ videos of the altercation, WAAY reported.

“It is in everyone’s interest for the facts to be determined by a process that is fair and free from bias or influence,” the family said in a letter to Marshall. “Consequently, we request that you, as the top law enforcement official in the State, conduct a review of the case to preserve the semblance of fairness in the legal system in Alabama.”

The family also alleged that Fletcher’s race may have played a role in the officers’ decision to use deadly force against him.

“D.A. Broussard publicly has made statement that may be interpreted as providing blanket exoneration of police officers’ interactions with people of color, apparently rejecting out of hand that race may play any role in any officer’s perception of threat or use of force,” the letter read.

The City of Madison has refused to release bodycam footage of the shooting due to an anticipated lawsuit from the suspect’s family, WAFF reported.

Comments (54)
No. 1-30
JBoH
JBoH

"...ordered the officer to shoot him."

Wish granted. Next?

reibertpa
reibertpa

Maybe if they had done a better job at raising him, he wouldn't have raised a gun at a police officer Quit wasting tax dollars and go away.

Ferret guy
Ferret guy

Soon it will be against the rules to shoot someone until AFTER an officer gets shot. I'm so sick of these worthless piece of shits

SheepDawg
SheepDawg

So apparently an Officer would be less dead when shot by a black? Note to family: race was considered and it was found that it was not a factor. What was a factor was pointing a gun at the Police.

OldVet
OldVet

Sounds like the ghetto lottery is starting. Point a gun at the police and then die.

whatalways3parts
whatalways3parts

Investigate the FAMILY !!! Their "sound of mind" ??? !!!

Before they can file any lawsuit!!!

sukisdad717
sukisdad717

STUPID IS AS STUPID DOES. One less POS and saves the state a lot of money

fedupveteran
fedupveteran

Where is the video from the bystanders? Make it public to support your statements are admit that you are lying. That simple. Of course, we know you are lying because your lips were moving family!

Det_John_Kimble
Det_John_Kimble

Race wasn't considered? What race? The guns?

bryantrent
bryantrent

Race no way BS

Sailor
Sailor

Tell the family I am very okay and happy that race was not considered by the officer. Tell them their punk child got exactly what he deserved in that situation. Good law enforcement work.

jarhead24
jarhead24

The RACE CARD is always a factor in a OIS. What else would the family and the crooked attorney use to try and get paid?

Brasov04cluj
Brasov04cluj

I have been reading the news ? paper since 1968. I CAN NOT REMEMBER A SINGLE INCIDENT where WHITE people piss and moan over a STUPID IGNORANT WHITE THUG being shot by L.E.O's. FACT: L.E.O's regardless of SKIN COLOR are 18 times more likely to be SHOT by a BLACK THUG as opposed to the risk of an Unarmed Black individual to be SHOT by a L.E.O. A certain segment of the African American population will ALWAYS PISS and MOAN in a failed attempt to disgrace the Millions of Fantastic African Americans who cause not trouble.

LEO0301
LEO0301

Todays test.

You only shot me because I'm _______. I didn't get the job because I'm _______. You walked to the other side of the street because I'm ________. You pulled me over because I'm _______.

cspcapt
cspcapt

what we need to do is place these judges and politicians in the same scenario, and see how they perform

GForce48
GForce48

We are still seeing some of the fundamental changes promised by the 0bama Administration coming out into the public arena.

Njaz
Njaz

Amazing. His actions alone warranted the LEO's response. Do they not yet understand that If you comply, you could go home that night?? No common sense here.

Stanracer
Stanracer

That's refreshing...a D.A. with a spine. 👍👍 Now here comes the ghetto lottery...👎👎

tuggingalong
tuggingalong

Who benefits from racism/discrimination?

Race hustlers Democrats Media

What would happen to them if there was no racism? Two out of the three would be unemployed and the media would have to lay off 50% of their staffs. The federal government would be half the size it is currently. Many black Americans would realize they have the same opportunity as the rest of our great society and could grow from it instead being crippled by excuses as Larry Elder often says.

Littlekittykat
Littlekittykat

Yet another violent negro...one of many. But if you notice the obvious you're a racist.

Anomie88
Anomie88

The only race they should worry about is the human race, and they are losing.

Diwatson
Diwatson

Pretty sad when the family is using their son now in an attempt to extort money from the city. But I guess that explains why the kid thought it was okay to point a gun at an officer. To play the race card in this situation is utterly ridiculous!

mindy1000
mindy1000

Complete and utter bullshit. The county DA said that it was justified. The family has said that the photos were "doctored" and he didn't have a gun. They've protested brought in ACLU I think. The family had a funeral at the Von Braun center concert hall that holds 1200 people. And of course they trying for the ghetto lottery. smh

BanditOne
BanditOne

A "race" to shoot first maybe. These officers did everything they could not to shoot him but he forced their hand. Now the family is saying if the suspect was white it would've been ok but since he's a representative of the 13% he should get away with murder. Wow, how ignorant are they?

Jessann82
Jessann82

They actually showed quite a bit of restraint because they had every right to respond with deadly force the second he touched that gun period.

Grog
Grog

Playing the race card, looking for a pay out!

Andone5150
Andone5150

Love a Happy ending!

spd522
spd522

The city should sue the family for raising a criminal.

Louise S
Louise S

did it die or was it just injured? the article doesn't say

Excalibr4
Excalibr4

Prelude to a ghetto lottery attempt.