Pennsylvania officer that shot a man during a tussle will not be charged after he said he mistakenly believed at the time he was using his Taser, not his weapon.
Bucks County District Attorney Matthew D. Weintraub said in a letter to New Hope Police Chief Michael Cummings that the March 3 shooting “was neither justified, nor criminal, but was excused.
Weintraub said the officer had an “honest but mistaken” belief he was deploying his Taser when he shot the man.
The officer shot Brian Riling, who had been arrested on intimidation, assault and other charges, in a holding cell in the borough of New Hope. Riling survived but spent several days in critical condition, the district attorney said.
Riling had entered the holding cell and removed his belt as instructed, and what appeared to be a bag of drugs fell to the ground, Weintraub said in the statement.
Riling stepped on the bag, there was a struggle, and the officer who shot him entered the cell to help the officer wrestling with him. The officer who shot Riling yelled, “Taser!” before firing what was a firearm, the district attorney’s office said.
Video released by the DA’s office shows the officer appear to shoot Riling, who shouts and falls to the floor as the two officers step back.
Pennsylvania officer shoots suspect with gun after mistakenly with using hisinstead of his Taser to shoot unarmed inmate