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Fairfax County police officer who fatally shot Timothy McCree Johnson in Tysons will be fired

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The Fairfax County police officer who allegedly fired the gunshot that killed Timothy McCree Johnson outside Tysons Corner Center last month will be fired, Chief Kevin Davis announced this afternoon (Thursday).

Davis didn’t identify the officer removed from duty, but the Washington Post reports that Sgt. Wesley Shifflett, a seven-year veteran of the Fairfax County Police Department, is believed to have fired the fatal shots.

The announcement was made at a 1 p.m. press conference, where the FCPD publicly released surveillance and body camera footage of the Feb. 22 encounter, which began with Johnson allegedly shoplifting a pair of sunglasses from Nordstrom and evolved into an extended foot chase.

“As a parent, my heart is still broken,” Melissa Johnson, Timothy’s mother, said. “I feel like I can just breathe a little bit lighter after hearing the announcement today, but we’re still waiting to see exactly what’s going to happen.”

The second officer involved — previously identified as eight-year veteran James Sadler — has been kept on modified restricted duty as a criminal investigation into the shooting continues.

Carl Crews, a lawyer representing the Johnson family, called Shifflett’s firing an “appropriate” move for an apparent violation of the FCPD’s use-of-force policy.

“But we’re not satisfied,” Crews told FFXnow. “The process needs to continue. The Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office needs to indict. There needs to be a charge against the officer, because a life was taken wrongly.”

The FCPD policy permits the use of deadly force against someone who’s fleeing if they’re suspected of committing a felony and their escape could pose a “significant threat” to others.

It’s unclear exactly where Johnson was in relation to the pursuing officers from the over eight-minute video compilation that the FCPD released. Shifflett can be heard saying that Johnson is going into the woods and yelling, “get on the ground.”

He then appears to trip on the underbrush and says, “Stop reaching.” The body camera’s lens gets briefly covered up as Shifflett reports “shots fired,” though the video needs to be slowed down and digitally enhanced to hear the three “pops” of gunshots.

Johnson did not have a weapon.

Police have confirmed that both Shifflett and Sadler fired their weapons, which means they both need to be held accountable, Crews argues.

“If [the other officer] was involved in the shooting, firing his weapon…he also violated the Fairfax County police officer policy for the use of deadly force, so he should be fired as well,” Crews said.

Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Jeff McKay confirmed that a notice of separation was served to one of the officers involved, expressing support for Davis’s decision in a lengthy statement that called the released video “disturbing.”

ID
nnyesh Copy
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Unknown
Type
video
Duration
8:23
Date
Mar-24-2023
By
ThisIsButter1 (10302.00)

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