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Passerby Who Killed Man Attacking Cop Learns His Fate

Photo Credit: LCSO via Daily Mail

Photo Credit: LCSO via Daily Mail

Note: we are republishing this story, which originally made the news in February 2017, in light of recent reports across the country that suggest more and more Americans are having positive interactions with police officers despite changing attitudes about police departments and wider conversation about police reform.

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A passerby who shot and killed a man who was attacking a Florida sheriff’s deputy will not face criminal charges.

The State Attorney’s Office formally cleared Ashad Russell, reports the Daily Mail.

Russell, 35, came to the rescue of Lee County Sheriff’s Deputy First Class Dean Bardes when he saw Edward Strother attacking the deputy on Interstate 75.

Bardes had pulled over Strother for speeding. Strother, 53, then allegedly attacked Bardes, pinning him to the road and punching him repeatedly.

Russell, who has a concealed weapons license, was armed when he emerged from his vehicle to help. Bardes, apparently noticing Russell had a gun, instructed him to shoot Strother. After repeatedly warning Strother to get off Barnes, Russell shot him three times in the neck, killing him.

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Lee County Sheriff Mike Scott praised Russell in a post on Facebook:

I thank the hero that recognized the imminent threat, rushed to Deputy Bardes’ aid, and ultimately stopped that threat. In a day and age where race is a near instant focus for media and other pundits in police incidents, the fact is that this hero happens to be a man of color who stopped another man of color from further harming or killing a white cop; thereby reminding us that black lives matter, blue lives matter, and indeed all life matters.

After reviewing the case, the SAO determined that Russell was “justified in using deadly force when he reasonably believed that the use of such force was necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to Deputy Dean Bardes or to prevent the imminent commission of a forcible felony upon Deputy Bardes. Our agency review is closed and no further action shall be taken by this office based upon the facts presented by this investigation and the applicable law.”

Louis Strother, brother of the deceased, offered a dissenting view, which The Washington Post noted. “They are calling him a good Samaritan?” he asked. “Was my brother armed?”

Sources: Daily Mail, The Washington Post 

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