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Richmond Commonwealth’s Attorney explains Marcus Peters’ death investigation outcome

Posted at 12:50 PM, Aug 31, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-31 13:12:10-04

RICHMOND, Va. --Richmond Police officer Michael Nyantakyi was justified when he shot and killed Marcus Peters alongside Interstate 95 in Richmond, a Use of Force investigation conducted by Richmond Commonwealth's Attorney Michael Herring determined.

Peters, 24, was naked and unarmed, but acting "erratically and dangerously" when he was killed, according to the report.

"Regardless of the cause of Mr. Peters’ behavior, whether it was the result of a mental health crisis or whether it was drug induced, he was acting erratically and dangerously. In no way are we suggesting that individuals suffering from mental illness should be killed by law enforcement. Indeed, like most Richmonders, we are very disturbed by the outcome, particularly because Mr. Peters was an accomplished young man devoted to public service," the report stated. "However, under certain circumstances, individuals in a compromised or deteriorated mental state may pose an imminent risk of death or serious bodily injury to an officer, which may justify the use of deadly force. In those situations, officers should appreciate the signs of underlying mental illness, but they must nevertheless respond to hazards they reasonably perceive."

The 17-page Use of Force report dove into Peters' background, detailed the tragic events of May 14, 2018, and attempted to answer some questions posted by Peters' family in the days and weeks since his death. You can read the full report here.

Scroll down to watch Mike Herring's complete press conference.