A civil service hearing officer ruled that Denver police officer James Turney, who fatally shot a developmentally disabled teenager who was holding a knife, should not be suspended, the Denver Post reports. The hearing officer faulted Turney only for making a threatening telephone call to his former mother-in-law and excessive use of his cellphone the day before the shooting. The hearing officer said Turney did not violate policy in the moments before the July 5, 2003, shooting of 15-year-old Paul Childs. The city is considering an appeal.
Childs was shot after his family called police as he grabbed a kitchen knife. The shooting triggered outrage in the community and led to dramatic police reforms by Mayor John Hickenlooper. The city last summer reached a $1.325 million settlement with the victim’s family, the largest ever for a fatal shooting in Denver. Hickenlooper said he was “disappointed” in the ruling. The Rev. Paul Martin of the church where Childs’ mother is a member, called the ruling a “travesty of justice.”