A recently released autopsy reveals not only was an unarmed North Dakota man shot by police, he was shot in the back of the head. And only after being pistol-whipped by the cops.
The autopsy ruled the death a homicide and the family of the deceased, 26-year-old Daniel Fuller, is now demanding charges against the officer who pulled the trigger.
However, the Devils Lake Police Department has refused to release the officer's name, even though the shooting took place on July 5.
And investigators who watched dashcam video of the moments leading up to the shooting told Fuller's family that it appeared as if he had his arms stretched out as if he was surrendering, which explains the secrecy surrounding the shooting.
But Grand Forks Coroner Mary Ann Sens is mucking up the waters by saying the homicide ruling is not indicative of fault, blame or guilt. Criminal homicide is determined through the legal process.
Just another way to keep from throwing the police completely under the bus.
According to WDAY:
> Fuller, 26, died from a “gunshot wound to the head” July 5, according to autopsy findings from the UND Forensic Pathology Practice Center. Devils Lake Police Chief Joe Knowski confirmed the unarmed man was being chased by two plainclothes officers in Southview Estates on suspicions Fuller broke into a mobile home before he was fatally shot by a plainclothes on-duty officer.
> The autopsy report revealed “the discharge of the firearm was apparently inadvertent,” however Fuller’s injury was “inflicted by another person during an intentional and harmful act directed at the decedent.”It ruled “the manner of death was certified as homicide.”
The Forensic Center defines homicide as a death “due to a volitional act by another person with the intent to cause fear, harm or death.” In the forensic sense of the word, homicide is translated as a death caused by a human regardless of intent.
“It doesn’t indicate murder,” Knowski said.
The North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation informed Fuller’s family that his body was discovered by police laying facedown in the grass.
Investigators have refused to show the family body cam footage of the moments leading up to Fuller’s passing but confirm that Fuller was pistol-whipped several times before being shot in the back of the head.
“If an officer is willing or goes to the extreme of hitting someone with their gun, it doesn’t make sense why he shot him if he already hit him,” Fuller’s sister, Allyson Bartlett said.
According to the autopsy, the bullet entered the midline of the back of Fuller’s head near the level of his ears. The skin around the bullet wound was blackened with soot indicating a close proximity/point blank shooting. There were also indications he suffered blunt force trauma to the head, the report read.
The Devil’s Lake Police Department has not identified the officer who pulled the trigger. Under the guidance of Ramsey County State’s Attorney Kari Agotness, the officers have invoked Marsy’s Law to keep their names from being made public. The officer who pulled the trigger has been placed on paid administrative leave.
“The police chief stated Marsy’s law on TV as to why not naming the officer,” Marla Fuller said. “He (the officer who shot Daniel Fuller) is not the victim, we are.”
Marsy’s law gives victims who invoke the law a set of rights, including keeping “information or records that could be used to locate or harass a victim or the victim’s family” confidential.
Daniel Fuller’s family has invoked the law but spoke with Forum News Service nonetheless, because they feel the officer should not have had the option of using Marsy’s Law.
“It’s been 50 days since Danny was shot and killed by an officer of the Devils Lake Police Department,” Marla Fuller said. “We are still waiting for answers. We want to know why this officer has not been named.”
Fuller came to be executed by police when they responded to reports of a man who was “running through the trailer court” at Southview. The man was trying to break into homes in the area. When police arrived, they noted that Fuller matched the description of the suspect and attempted to apprehend him. The North Dakota man fled and scaled a fence.
Fuller’s sister said that investigators told her that there appeared to be a struggle according to the dashcam video. The struggled appeared to be quick before the officer fired his gun. Investigators are trying to determine if indeed there was a struggle. Since the officers were in plainclothes, none were wearing body cameras.
Marla Fuller said investigators told her it appeared Daniel Fuller had his arms out while sitting “like he was surrendering” before he was shot.
BCI spokeswoman Liz Brocker pointed to the Attorney General’s website when asked about the case. The website states it does not comment on ongoing criminal investigations.
Criminal information, including video of crime scenes, cannot be released until the case is closed, pursuant to the state’s open record laws.
One of the plainclothes officers who was off-duty but at the scene was attempting to call medical staff before the shooting because Daniel Fuller was injured, Bartlett said.