Shatley shooting: DA declines to release body camera footage until investigation is completed

By Jesse Campbell -

JEFFERSON-The district attorney tasked with investigating the officer involved shooting of Dallas Shatley in July 2015 said he will not turn over the footage from the body cameras that were rolling that night until after the investigation is finished.

District Attorney Garry Frank of Davidson County has led the investigation since Tom Horner’s office turned over the investigation to him late last summer. Horner cited his personal relationship with the Shatley family in his decision.

After reviewing the videos that were rolling during the initial call, Frank said there are still some “other steps” his office wants to approach in the case. Some of those steps have yet to be concluded, he said. Frank said he didn’t feel it was appropriate to release the footage until after the investigation was finished.

In recent years, police officers nationwide have begun utilizing the portable cameras, which can attach to an officer’s uniform or glasses, to protect both citizens and police officers in the line of duty. Shatley was shot by Ashe County Sheriff’s Office deputies on July 8, 2015, after he allegedly confronted the officers who were responding to a disturbance.

The incident was reported around 10 p.m. in Crumpler on Shatley Road, just off of Highway 16.

According to previous statements by Ashe County Sheriff James Williams, a deputy was dragged by a vehicle driven by Shatley and shots were fired.

The state’s autopsy reports reveal that Shatley was shot in the right and left upper parts of the chest. A postmortem toxilogic analysis of Shatley detected elevated levels of ethanol – 150 mg/dl – in tissue taken from Shatley’s eye. Ethanol is the active agent in beer, wine, vodka, whiskey, rum and other liquors. Ethanol is the single most important substance of abuse in the United States, according to the Mayo Clinic.

Slow going

Aside from leading an investigation into a case outside his jurisdiction, Frank his office has experienced significant delays in the case.

For one, the agents involved in the case are not immediately under his chain of command. Also, the State Bureau of Investigation agent involved in the case had at least one other shooting to investigate immediately at the time of the shooting.

“They’ve had some legitimate constraints,” said Frank.

Reach Jesse Campbell at 336-846-7164.

By Jesse Campbell

comments powered by Disqus