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BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — Brunswick County’s district attorney says officers were justified in using lethal force when they shot at a vehicle that tried to leave a DWI checkpoint in Leland in June.

DA Jon David made the decision based on a SBI investigation into the June 14 shooting on US 17.

Investigators say officers from the Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office, New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office and Leland Police Department fired at the vehicle driven by Antoine Lavar Graham. He and passenger Jerry Melvin were injured.

David determined the officers were justified, because Graham used his car as a deadly weapon against officers and civilians at the checkpoint.

In a news release, David said while he normally would describe in detail what happened, in this case he will not, because Graham is being prosecuted for felony assaults against many of the same officers who opened fire.

Graham is charged with multiple counts of felony assault with a deadly weapon on a government official and multiple counts of assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill. David says as a result of evidence produced during the investigation, Graham will also be charged with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. Graham was also wanted in connection with felony drug charges handed down by a grand jury in March.

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10 Comments on "DA: Officers were justified in June checkpoint shooting"

2015 years 10 months ago

If you will check the North Carolina General Statutes, you will find that these checkpoints are not illegal. I have not read anywhere that these officers shot an unintended target. I suppose if a vehicle was charging at you that you would just sit/stand there and take it?

2015 years 10 months ago

How many times did your car/wife/kids/you get hit when the cops were shooting “right at you”? Even if they got poor marks for marksmanship, you would think at least one bullet would have struck an unintended target.

If these clowns hadn’t set this whole thing in motion, there would be no issue. Their actions created this. Feel kinda bad for the SUV though…it was the innocent victim!

2015 years 10 months ago

Just remember the next time you are stopping to show your documents and being illegally questioned by the gestapo at a checkpoint:

If the occupants of the vehicle ahead of you decide to run, and if the officers decide to pump 40+ rounds in all different directions, including right at your wife and kids, the state will find nothing wrong.

I’m all for keeping drunks off the roads, but when the police are just as dangerous as the criminals there IS something wrong.

2015 years 10 months ago

Was anyone actually dumb enough to expect any different outcome? Cops investigating cops. Like robbers investigating robbers or gangsters investigating gangsters. These incidents need to be checked out by an IMPARTIAL board comprised of ordinary citizens as well as those familiar with state law. This crap is the biggest joke you can imagine.

2015 years 10 months ago

Spoken exactly like someone who has no idea how an SBI investigation really works.

2015 years 10 months ago

Who should investigate police officers? Cashiers from the local Wal-Mart?

2015 years 10 months ago

I’m not surprised that you are to dumb to understand the law. Who should we let investigate this incident, you? You have already shown a great level of impartiallity. Lets see I guess because they are officers they should let some felon attempt to kill them because he didn’t want to go back to prison. Sounds more like this was a family member of yours and as usual try to blame someone other than the mutt who is at fault. Oh did we forget that an unbiased panel of citizens already found enough evidence to indict him on drug charges. Oh yeah he was also charged with felon in possession of a firearm. You’d have to be dumb to think he should get away with it. Don’t worry though. You can always visit that fine up standing citizen in prison.

2015 years 10 months ago

Common on, the SBI is just as corrupt as the departments in this state. We need an independent investigator, maybe the FBI. Then you rednecks will know what a real enforcement agency does. Shooting at a moving vehicle is against policy in every state but North Carolina.

Guest Vader
2015 years 10 months ago

Re-read his/her post. Maybe it will hit you the second time around.

2015 years 10 months ago

Yes, never shoot at anything you cannot clearly identify and always be aware of what is in front and behind your target. In an environment like a DUI checkpoint,where there are large numbers of potential innocent bystanders the proper thing to do is stand aside and not engage. We still have not seen dashcam video, nor have we seen anything justifying the officers version of events or their actions. LE are supposed to be trained professionals who use deadly force only as a last resort. DUI checkpoints may be legal, but they infringe on the people’s rights and unnecessarily endanger the public. Stopping in the road is a hundred times more dangerous than driving down said road.


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