According to information released Friday, there will be no charges brought against the cops in the Longview Police Department that shot and killed a 17 year old girl in January.
Here is the press release from the office of Gregg County District Attorney, Carl Dorrough:
The investigation into the use of deadly force by Longview officers involved in the January 22, 2015, shooting that claimed the life of Kristiana Joy Coignard was presented to a Gregg County grand jury on June 25, 2015. The investigation was conducted by the Texas Rangers after Coignard was shot by Officers Glenn Derr and Grace Bagley in the lobby of the Longview Police Department. Coignard died as a result of wounds sustained in the shooting.
On Thursday, January 22, 2015, officers were called to Longview Police Headquarters shortly before 6:30 p.m. after a young female, later identified as Kristiana Joy Coignard, entered the lobby. Using the lobby telephone, she told telecommunications operators that she needed help. Officer Glenn Derr was the first officer to respond. As he walked up to her, Coignard raised her left hand which had the words”! have a gun’ written on her palm. Derr asked where the gun was located. Coignard responded by moving her left hand up towards the inside front of her jacket. As Derr reached for Coignard’s arm, she backed away.
Derr grabbed her left arm as Coignard began pulling away from him. The two began to struggle and fell onto a bench in the lobby. As Derr attempted to contain Coignard, she moved her body and kicked at him with her legs. The pair struggled on the bench for just over two minutes. Derr pulled his weapon when
Coignard refused his request to stop moving her hands towards the right side of her body.
As the two continued to struggle, Coignard stood up. Derr then reholstered his weapon and threw Coignard to the floor where she landed on her stomach. As Derr attempted secure her, Coignard displayed a knife at which point Derr backed away with his weapon drawn. As Officer Gene Duffie entered the lobby and walked towards the two, Coignard rose to her feet.
When he saw she was holding a knife, Duffie removed his tazer and began speaking to her. Approximately fourteen seconds after Duffie arrived, Officer Bagley entered the lobby. As Bagley walked up behind Duffie, Coignard rushed towards Derr holding the knife in her right hand. As she charged, Derr back peddled and fired as did Bagley. Duffie discharged his tazer. A total of five shots were fired along with the discharge of Duffie’s tazer.
After reviewing the evidence, including videotape from the lobby surveillance camera and testimony from the Texas Ranger who conducted the investigation, the Grand Jury declined to take action against the officers based upon finding that the use of deadly force was authorized under state law. Therefore, no criminal charges will be brought against the officers involved.
Kristiana’s death sparked protests and and cyber attacks against the Longview police department. Surviellance footage of the shooting raises questions about how police respond to crisis involving the mentally ill.
Her father says Krstiana’s actions that night were a cry for help.
“Our belief is that she went there asking for help. It’s evident just by watching the video of how long she was calm, cooperative, subdued. For so many, I’m guessing about 10, minutes, there wasn’t any violence on her part, or charging, or anything like that. So I know that it was asking for help, that was her intent,” said her father, Erik Coignard.
The Guardian reports that one officer fired twice after only being on the scene for 10 seconds.
During a struggle that lasted several minutes, one officer appears to have subdued Coignard but then releases her. Two other officers arrive, weapons are drawn and she is shot five times by two officers after rushing at one of them with what police said was a butcher knife. An officer who had been on the scene for less than 10 seconds fired twice.
Watch the video and tell us what you think.