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VIDEO: Northeast Arkansas police officer said she had 'no choice' in deadly shooting of man

by Youssef Rddad | May 6, 2019 at 12:37 p.m.

Police in northeast Arkansas released body camera video capturing a deadly police shooting, with the footage showing a Blytheville police officer fire twice at a man from the ground after he knocked her down.

The video released to the Democrat-Gazette Monday shows Blytheville police officer Leann Norman shoot 35-year-old Marzues Scott after he hits her in the face and pushes her down outside of the Deerfield Inn on April 7.

Authorities said Norman responded to reports of Scott attacking a convenience store employee along South Division Street. The officer then confronted him at the inn across the street.

Norman — who’s been with the Blytheville police department for less than a year — is heard on her body camera ordering Scott to go next to her car, saying “you just assaulted someone at Dodges Store."

She repeatedly screams “get back!” and “I’m seriously about to Taze you!” as Scott continues walking toward her. He eventually knocks her to the ground and she fires two shots.

“He hit me in the head twice,” Norman said into her radio before handcuffing Scott. "I had no choice.”

Other officers arrive and begin treating Scott, who appears unresponsive in another officer’s body camera video.

Surveillance video released by the Blytheville Police Department shows Scott attack an employee at the store, punching the worker several times in the head in an assault lasting about 30 seconds.

Scott didn’t say anything during the store attack or when Norman confronted him.

He died shortly after medical crews brought him to a local hospital. Officials haven’t released Scott’s autopsy and toxicology report.

The Arkansas State Police investigated the shooting and forwarded its findings to the local prosecutor's office.

Prosecuting Attorney for the 2nd Judicial District Scott Ellington declined to criminally charge Norman in a decision that came down 26 days after the shooting. He wrote in a letter released last week she was justified in shooting Scott because he attacked her and ignored her commands.

“After these blows, Scott continued to pursue and show aggression towards her,” Ellington wrote. “This, along with his repeated defiance of her commands, Officer Norman was reasonable in believing that her life was in danger when she fired her service weapon.”

Blytheville Police Chief Ross Thompson extended his “deepest and sincere sympathies to family of Mr. Scott,” during a Thursday news conference.

Scott, a Blytheville native, attended high school there before serving in the U.S. Marines and being honorably discharged for his service, according to his obituary.

Norman has remained on paid administrative leave throughout the State Police investigation.


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