JEFFERSON-The district attorney’s office tasked with investigating the officer involved shooting of Dallas Shatley last summer said a decision about any possible wrongdoing by the Ashe County Sheriff’s Deputies will be made in the very near future.
When reached by phone Tuesday afternoon, Garry Frank, of Davidson County, said his department is finalizing the gathering of information in the case to wrap up the investigation. Frank told the Jefferson Post in early July the case would be wrapped up within 45 days, though that soft deadline has since passed.
The duty of Frank’s office is to determine if the deputies that responded to the Shatley residence that night acted within the appropriate protocols in using deadly force.
A decision to release the video camera footage that was rolling that night when deputies confronted Shatley will also be made at that time. Frank has declined multiple times to release the footage to the Post or comment about the nature of its contents due to fears that it compromise his investigation, he said.
That could become a moot point in a month, as changes to state law would mean a court order would be needed to release that footage from the night of the shooting. North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory last month signed into law provisions that would require people recorded by police to gain approval from a police chief or sheriff or a court order to see the footage.
The new police footage law, which takes effect Oct. 1, has been criticized by some civil rights groups as a backward move for police transparency. The N.C. Conference of District Attorneys said in July it supported the law.
How’d we get here?
Shatley was shot by Ashe County Sheriff’s Office deputies on July 8, 2015, after he allegedly confronted the officers who were responding to a disturbance.
The incident was reported around 10 p.m. in Crumpler on Shatley Road, just off of Highway 16.
According to previous statements by Ashe County Sheriff James Williams, a deputy was dragged by a vehicle driven by Shatley and shots were fired.
The ACSO said later that Deputies Christopher Roten, Joshua Hopkins and Brandon Miller had been involved in the incident, but the agency declined to say which of the deputies had allegedly been dragged prior to the shooting. The three deputies were placed on administrative leave, but were reinstated the week of Aug. 17, 2015.
In Sept. 2015, District Attorney Tom Horner announced that he would no longer be involved in the case due to his close relationship with the Shatley family. The case was then handed over to Frank of Davie and Davidson counties.
Reach Jesse Campbel at 336-846-7164.