Special prosecutor declines filing criminal charges against Sikeston officers involved in deadly shooting

Special prosecutor declines filing criminal charges against Sikeston officers involved in deadly shooting
Mississippi County Prosecuting Attorney Darren Cann announced he will not be filing criminal charges against two Sikeston Department of Public Safety officers involved in a deadly shooting on April 29. (Source: KFVS/Jordin Wyatt.)

SIKESTON, Mo. (KFVS) - Mississippi County Prosecuting Attorney Darren Cann announced he will not be filing criminal charges against two Sikeston Department of Public Safety officers involved in a deadly shooting on April 29.

Cann, who was appointed as Special Prosecuting Attorney in the investigation, made the announcement on Thursday, July 22.

He said his decision in declining to file charges against the two Sikeston officers came after analyzing witness and officer statements, video and audio from the officer’s body cameras and the actions of the officers.

In a letter to Col. Eric T. Olson, Superintendent of the Missouri State Highway Patrol (MSHP), Cann stated the two DPS officers were justified in using deadly force in shooting Denzel Marshal Taylor.

Taylor was shot and killed when the officers were responding and investigating the shooting of his father, Milton Taylor.

Witnesses and victim told police that Denzel Taylor shot him and ran away from the scene.

As officers were investigating, Cann stated that Denzel Taylor approached the officers and he could be heard on police body cameras telling the officers to “just kill me, bro.”

The officers stated Denzel Taylor was wearing a hoodie and had his hands in pockets, which they repeatedly asked him to remove, but he did not comply with their commands.

Police said the situation escalated and the officers shot Denzel Taylor.

After a search of Denzel Taylor, a piece of wood was found in his pocket.

Cann believes it was reasonable for the officers to believe that Denzel Taylor had a weapon in his pocket and that he was going to use it against them.

Cann said the officers actions were reasonable and not criminal.

The entire letter to Col. Olson from Cann is below:

Copyright 2020 KFVS. All rights reserved.