Family of man shot, killed in West Memphis pursuit seeks answers

Published: May. 24, 2018 at 8:31 PM CDT|Updated: May. 24, 2018 at 9:28 PM CDT
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(Source: TDOT)
(Source: TDOT)

WEST MEMPHIS, AR (WMC) - A Memphis lawyer is asking questions about Monday's deadly officer-involved shooting on Interstate 40 in West Memphis.

Ronald Clinton was shot and killed by a West Memphis police officer Monday afternoon after he led officers on a pursuit from the Walmart in West Memphis onto I-40.

The attorney representing Clinton's family is looking into whether or not officers violated the department's pursuit policy.

A brief recording from Crittenden County dispatch sheds little light on what actually happened Monday afternoon.

Arkansas State Police have taken over the investigation, and Clinton's family has now asked Memphis attorney Murray Wells to comb through the evidence as well.

"The family is not accusing anyone yet," Wells said. "The family is not making wild claims. They are in pain and they just want to understand at this point what happened."

Investigators said Clinton led officers on a chase after he stole from the Walmart in West Memphis.

He eventually drove the wrong way on I-40, where investigators said he hit officers' cars and collided with a propane tanker.

"What we are concerned about really is the pursuit itself and whether procedures were followed," Wells said. "How it is you make the decision to do a pursuit on such an incredibly busy highway where there are so many people who are not involved in any way."

West Memphis Police Department's pursuit policy state officers should only pursue a vehicle on the interstate if the person is accused of committing a felony.

Officers should never pursue a vehicle traveling the wrong direction on a divided highway or freeway.

Pursuits can be terminated if the officer "believes that the danger to the public outweighs the need for immediate apprehension of the suspect."

Wells said he is now investigating all of those guidelines.

"The family, first off, wants answers," Wells said. "They want to understand what happened."

At this time West Memphis PD is not able to comment on any part of the incident.

The officer who fired the fatal shot remains on paid administrative leave, per their usual policy.

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