You may remember the case from September 2017: Clark County Sheriff’s Deputy Jake Shaw shot photographer Andy Grimm after mistaking his camera and tripod for a gun. On 22 March 2018, a grand jury decided that Shaw will not face criminal charges for injuring the photographer.
The shooting happened when Grimm pulled over to take photos of a traffic stop. He set up a camera on a tripod, and reports say that Shaw mistook it for a gun and shot Grimm twice without a warning. One bullet struck him in the chest, and the other grazed his shoulder. The incident was even captured on Shaw’s bodycam, and indeed, you can hear that there had been no warning before he pulled the trigger.
After getting shot, Grimm filed a lawsuit against Shaw, seeking over $75,000 in damages. He sued the Deputy for the violation of the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment, common law assault and battery, emotional distress, loss of consortium, lost wages, and intentional interference with contractual relations.
However, Clark County’s lawyers reportedly believe that Shaw “reasonably” thought from Grimm’s camera to be a weapon. In the Springfield News-Sun, the statement from the Clark County’s lawyers reads:
Defendants aver that it reasonably appeared to Deputy Shaw that Andrew Grimm possessed a firearm under the conditions facing him, in the course and scope of his employment, and in good faith, to make a split-second decision to discharge his weapon in order to protect the public and himself from perceived deadly harm.
According to the same statement, Grimm had his own part of responsibility in the shooting:
Plaintiff Andrew Grimm’s own contributory and or comparative negligence and/or assumption of the risk may have caused or contributed to cause the injuries and damages of which he complains.
Apparently, these arguments were enough for a grand jury to decide that Shaw should not face criminal charges for the shooting. On 22 March 2018, the grand jury has made the decision.
As the Springfield News-Sun writes, Shaw returned to duty in October, but he was reassigned to the county jail. The sheriff’s office will reportedly do an internal investigation of the case after the state’s investigation is completed.