Except for officer who shot man, Lawrence police involved in other recent use-of-force incidents are back on duty

photo by: Ashley Hocking

Lawrence police respond to an incident on North Stowe Court on Friday, June 29, 2018.

As a criminal case against her begins to unfold in court, a Lawrence police officer who shot a man in May remains employed by the Lawrence Police Department.

The officer, Brindley Blood, is not on duty, however; she remains on paid administrative leave, department spokeswoman Kim Murphree said this week. The department’s internal investigation into the incident remains ongoing, Murphree said.

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As for three other officers placed on leave this year while use-of-force incidents were investigated by outside law enforcement agencies and the Douglas County District Attorney’s Office, they are all back on normal duty, Murphree said.

However, while those three officers have been cleared by the DA, the internal departmental investigations pertaining to the incidents they were involved in also are not yet completed, Murphree said.

One is Officer Ian McCann, who pulled over the man who was later shot on May 29 in the 100 block of West Sixth Street.

The man reportedly refused to comply with McCann’s orders prior to jumping out of the driver’s seat and attacking him. Blood, who responded when McCann called for backup, shot Akira S. Lewis in the back, telling investigators that she meant to deploy her Taser and mistakenly grabbed and fired her pistol instead.

On June 29 at 620 N. Stowe Court, Officer Charles Stewart fired his gun at a mentally ill suspect who pointed a gun at him.

Gunfire was exchanged but neither man was hit. The suspect retreated into his home and was taken into custody later after an hourslong standoff.

On July 2 in the 2100 block of Louisiana Street, Sgt. Robert Neff fired at a double-shooting suspect who reportedly rammed the officer with his car.

It was thought that a bullet fired by Neff grazed the suspect, but the DA investigation was unable to confirm what caused that wound. The suspect fled but was arrested nearby and charged in the shootings of two people at 713 W. 25th St.

Contact Journal-World public safety reporter Sara Shepherd


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