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No charges to be filed in police-action shooting case

Friday, October 12, 2012

By ERIC BERNSEE

Editor

No charges will be filed in the July 1 police-action shooting of a 28-year-old Greencastle man, Putnam County Prosecutor Timothy Bookwalter announced Friday.

Charles Aaron Brousard was fatally wounded by Greencastle City Police Reserve Officer Jeremiah Jackson in a midnight incident that occurred at Maple Berry Park, across the street from Brousard's South End residence at 511 Sycamore St.

(Photo)
Maple Berry Park became scene of a tribute to Charles Aaron Brousard after his death on July 1.
Over the past three months, Indiana State Police and Putnam County Prosecutor's Office investigators have conducted a joint investigation into the shooting death of Brousard. Investigator David Meadows and ISP officers interviewed several witnesses to the events of July 1, Bookwalter said.

"The sole question in this investigation," the prosecutor noted, was whether or not the officer committed a crime in shooting Brousard.

"We took the entire investigation, and came up with a findings of fact," Bookwalter told the Banner Graphic.

And examination of those findings and facts resulted in a decision not to file any criminal charges in the case.

"There were really no disputed facts," Bookwalter explained. "There were eyewitnesses and corroborating witnesses for them."

The findings note that those present at the Brousard home with Aaron just before the shooting were his father, Charles Brousard Sr., and his cousin, Krista Robinson.

According to Robinson and the elder Brousard, Aaron had been drinking alcohol earlier in the day and was reportedly upset about a break-up with a girlfriend.

Witnesses told investigators that Aaron began to assault Robinson, pushing her down and dragging her by the hair, the prosecutor's report continued.

He had the woman down on the ground outside the residence when a neighbor approached to see if the female was all right, the report added.

The neighbor was told by Aaron to "mind his own (expletive deleted) business." The neighbor then called 911, the report indicates.

The findings of fact notes that Aaron then returned to the front porch of his father's house in an agitated state. His father asked Aaron to sit down and join him on the porch, but Aaron kicked his father in the chest. The report says he pushed his father off the porch and the man tumbled onto the lawn below.

Reserve Officer Jackson, responding to the 911 call of a violent domestic disturbance in progress, arrived in time to see Aaron shoving his father off the porch, the report states. Getting out of his patrol car and approaching the porch, Jackson told Brousard to stop, the report adds.

Brousard, however, came off the porch and aggressively moved toward Jackson, telling him "you are going to have to kill me," witnesses said.

The officer again ordered Brousard to stop, but he refused to comply and kept approaching the officer, the report continues. That is when Jackson drew his handgun.

The findings indicate Jackson backed up across the street, repeatedly ordering Brousard to stop and get on the ground. The suspect continued to pursue Jackson, the report adds, until the officer backed up into a telephone pole and Brousard aggressively butted into Jackson's body.

Jackson continued to command Brousard to stop and get on the ground, the report continues. Brousard again refused to comply, advanced on the officer and told Jackson to shoot him.

The officer was able to push Brousard off of him, while ordering him to stop and get on the ground. But again Brousard came at the officer, the findings of fact state.

It was then that Jackson fired one shot, hitting Brousard in the chest.

The Prosecutor's Office report states that a second officer had pulled up in time to see the last part of the above events, as did a citizen who was driving by the location at the time.

Both persons substantiated the officer's statement, the report noted.

Although the officer immediately performed CPR on Brousard, he died at the scene.

Toxicology reports determined that Brousard, who weighed approximately 300 pounds, had a blood-alcohol content of .14 percent (almost twice the legal limit) at the time of the shooting.

The investigation took other factors into consideration, Bookwalter pointed out.

For one, Officer Jackson did not have a taser issued to him as possible option to his handgun.

"Jackson was called to the scene for a domestic violence situation in which Mr. Brousard had already battered two other individuals," the report summarized. "Jackson gave the appropriate warnings to Mr. Brousard, who refused to comply. The officer retreated as far as he could until he was stopped by the telephone pole. Brousard then attacked Jackson and came into physical contact with him.

"The officer thought his own safety was threatened and potentially a scuffle over the officer's gun was at hand," the report added.

"Based upon these facts," Bookwalter's statement concluded, "the state declines to file any criminal charges in this case."


Comments
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The telephone pole was so wide officer Jackson couldn't have simply went around it, thus giving himself time to position the pepper spray for use? Brousard was drunk for goodness sake.

-- Posted by firebreathinglocomotive on Sat, Oct 13, 2012, at 1:24 PM

Saying a prayer for the Brousard family tonight. I know it must be hard to loss a young man this way. I think the police officer should atleast be reprimanded as it surely could have been handled in a way other than a fatality.

-- Posted by usaalltheway on Sat, Oct 13, 2012, at 7:35 PM

Neither of you have ever faced a situation like that which the officer had to that night. Very few of us have. I cannot say what might have been done differently, but it sounds like all the witnesses agree on what the events were leading up to the shooting. The officer's life was threatened and all accounts were that firing one (and only one) shot was a last resort.

-- Posted by VolunteerFF on Sun, Oct 14, 2012, at 6:32 AM

SUCH A SAD SITUATION FOR ALL INVOLVED. PRAYERS GO OUT TO THE BROUSSARD FAMILY FOR THEIR LOSS.

-- Posted by lhmh on Sun, Oct 14, 2012, at 6:16 PM

stop judging and just feel for everyone involved

-- Posted by talkymom3 on Sun, Oct 14, 2012, at 10:00 PM

SAD SITUATION ,,,i feel bad for the family affected,,,dont know why a reserve officer was allowed to respond by himself..????,,,most reserves havent been to plainfield for full training OR TO HANDLE THESE SITUATIONS AND IT SHOWED .....sounds like the volunteer officer went from talking to deadly force and the sheriiff's department is less than a minute away WOW. ,,mmmm there suppose to be steps in between that....he over committed himself....and didnt correct his actions in time....lack of training dealing with a tough situation ended in a loss of a young man"s life ,,,,that made some poor judgement calls that night....from fressbie to this,,,to serve and protect what..????..rest in peace...

-- Posted by treeboyisawesome on Sun, Oct 14, 2012, at 10:27 PM

JUSTICE has been served! For all u that are still talking crap...u never been in that position so how can u say what should of happen or how he should of done this or that?...it states in this how the man was drunk and violent. than u guys want to say why he shot him? i know if i was that officer i would of shot to if i gave him "multiple" chances to coraporate...and not knowing if the man had a weapon or not...it was dark outside. So i know that if a big drunk 300 pound man came charging at me and said"YOU WILL HAVE TO KILL ME" at night time ...im pretty sure i would shot at him too. That officer did the right thing and prevented that drunk guy from hurting someone else and that officer made it home to his family. Plus it so funny that magority of the people talking crap about this officer all have been in trouble with the law or have been in jail and just want to bad mouth the law inforcement. So...thank you Jeremiah for and the rest of the putnam county law inforcement for putting your life at risk everyday to protect this community!!

-- Posted by hotnurse21 on Sun, Oct 14, 2012, at 10:29 PM

to TREEBOY: How stupid do u sound?...reserve officers and officers have the same training. The only diff is that a reserve officer does not get paid. Reserve officers volenteer their own time to protect the community on top of having another job.

and to fire what ever: were u there?...how can u say what should of happen? pepper spray?...really?...is that what u would use if ur life was in danger? maybe u can tell us what u did when ur in that officers position..

-- Posted by hotnurse21 on Sun, Oct 14, 2012, at 10:36 PM

just for your info people ,,, i'm ex miltary police,,ex correction officer and worked with law enforce for over ten years... dealt with life and death situtions many times in a large city not a small college town.....//// and alot of times when some one was armed and i never used deadly force,,,,its my opinon.... and real nice on the name calling show's how shallow you are.........info only

-- Posted by treeboyisawesome on Sun, Oct 14, 2012, at 11:00 PM

How sad. Just too sad for words. Everything about this is wrong and says prosecute. greencastle is turning into a very sad place.

-- Posted by BlackBarbie22 on Fri, Oct 19, 2012, at 8:43 AM


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