Prosecutor: Officer-Involved Shooting Was Justified

Sep 17, 2019

Hamilton County prosecutors say no charges will be filed against a Cincinnati police officer following a shooting last week in Avondale.

Prosecutor Joe Deters says his office reviewed dashcam and bodycam video of Cincinnati Police Officer Marc Schildmeyer shooting Vernell Jackson and determined the officer's actions were justified.

The event was the department's third officer-involved shooting of 2019.

Deters says he believes the officer's life-saving actions after the shooting likely saved Jackson's life.

Jackson was taken to a hospital where he remains, though no longer in the ICU.

In the officer's body camera video (shown below), the officer can be heard telling Jackson to show his hands. As Jackson pulls a gun from his waistband, the officer shoots, striking Jackson in the upper right torso.

"I don't care if it's Cincinnati Police or Springfield Township Police, (if) you've got a gun in your hands and police officers say 'show your hands' and you pull a gun out of your waistband, you're gonna get shot," Deters says. "I think (the officer) went above and beyond by administering first aid to this guy and probably saved his life."

Police Chief Eliot Isaac says the officer followed his training. "(He) acted in the way he was trained to do, and after those actions, he administered life-saving measures. I think he acted above and beyond."

Here is the dashcam and bodycam video of the incident as provided to WVXU by the Hamilton County Prosecutor's Office.

As WVXU previously reported, police say a plainclothes officer sitting in an unmarked vehicle near Blair and Hartford Street on Sept. 11 saw Vernell Jackson remove a handgun from his pocket and put it in his waistband. Officer Marc Schildmeyer responded to a call for backup in a marked police cruiser.

"Officer Schildmeyer gave Mr. Jackson three separate commands to show his hands," said Chief Eliot Isaac at a news conference last week. "Mr. Jackson removed his left hand from behind his back and displayed a firearm pointed at Officer Schildmeyer. Officer Schildmeyer ordered Mr. Jackson to put the gun down, and discharged one round, striking Mr. Jackson in the right side of his torso."

Jackson faces charges of aggravated menacing and carrying a concealed weapon. Investigators say they recovered a .380 handgun with eight rounds in the magazine. Isaac says the gun was purchased legally, "however, we are not certain how it got into the possession of Mr. Jackson."