HOMER, La. (AP) — Two white police officers involved in the fatal shooting of a 73-year-old black man in northern Louisiana have resigned from the force.
The Feb. 20 shooting of Bernard Monroe Sr. sparked protests and at least two investigations.
Officer Tim Cox, who shot Monroe in his yard, and Officer Joey Henry, who was present at the time of the shooting, have decided to pursue other employment, said Homer city attorney Jim Colvin.
“Tim Cox told me he is moving to St. Tammany Parish and I think will be training canines for police departments,” Colvin said. “I don’t know what Joey Henry is going to do.”
Both officers had been on paid administrative leave after the shooting, which is still under investigation by the FBI and state police.
“They should have been gone,” said Rev. Willie Young, head of the Claiborne Parish NAACP, on Wednesday. “I don’t think taxpayers should have been paying their salaries all this time.”
Monroe, who was mute after losing his larynx to cancer, was cooking on a grill in his yard with relatives and friends when the police officers arrived. In a report to state authorities, Homer police said Cox and Henry chased Monroe’s 38-year-old son, Shaun, from a suspected drug deal blocks away to his father’s house.
Witnesses disputed that account, saying the younger Monroe was talking to his sister-in-law in a truck outside the house when officers arrived.
There was a scuffle between the officers and Shaun, in which Shaun was shocked with a Taser. Police said the elder Monroe then pulled a gun on them and Cox fired his weapon. Witnesses claim Bernard Monroe was unarmed as he walked toward his porch.
State police said in February that a loaded gun was found on or near Monroe’s body. But friends and relatives suggested police planted a gun Monroe owned next to his body.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Louisiana is studying arrests and traffic citations by Homer police as part of an investigation of racial profiling complaints against the department.
Reached by phone on Wednesday, Police Chief Russell Mills refused to comment.
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