Purple Heart awarded to deputy in deadly middle school shooting expresses outrage

Purple Heart awarded to deputy in deadly middle school shooting expresses outrage

A Colorado sheriff’s office has sparked outrage after a deputy was awarded a Purple Heart for injuries sustained during a fatal collision with a man last year. in a secondary school When the students were being given leave.

Deputy Charles McWhorter received a commendation from the Pueblo County Sheriff’s Office four days ago Federal wrongful death lawsuits Filed against him, other deputies and the county.

The award was presented during an annual awards banquet on Feb. 17, according to a post about the event Sheriff’s Facebook page.

Pueblo County Sheriff Deputy Charles McWhorter (Pueblo County Colorado)

A spokeswoman for the sheriff’s office confirmed to NBC News via email Monday that “Deputy McWhorter received a Purple Heart for injuries sustained in the February 22, 2022, incident.”

The spokeswoman said neither McWhorter nor anyone with the office would comment further because the pending lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for Colorado. Attempts to reach McWhorter outside the sheriff’s office Monday were unsuccessful.

According to the lawsuit, McWhorter fatally shot Richard Ward, 32, last February while he was with his mother and her boyfriend to pick up his younger brother from Liberty Point International Middle School.

Pueblo County sheriff’s deputies approached Ward after receiving a report that he was opening the doors of nearby vehicles in the pickup waiting area, officials said.

Ward got out of his mother’s SUV for a “brief walk,” mistaking another white SUV for him and getting into the wrong car, the lawsuit said. He apologized to the woman who was driving after realizing his mistake and returning to his mother’s car, the lawsuit said.

Minutes later, according to the lawsuit, McWhorter confronted Ward, who was shot three times during a physical struggle. Ward was pronounced dead at the scene, the lawsuit said.

Attorney Darold Kilmer, who represents the Ward family in the case, said Monday that the Purple Heart being awarded to McWhorter was an “outrage” and a calculated decision.

“They knew they were going to be sued, so they decided they had to make this guy a hero,” Kilmer said. “They gave him a Purple Heart because he hurt himself when he killed Richard.”

He added: “They had to defend a senseless murder. So they wanted to have a hero at the top of the lineup for them.”

The lawsuit alleges that the use of excessive force violated Ward’s rights under both the federal and state constitutions. Ward’s family is demanding justice.

Comments under the sheriff’s office’s Facebook page post about the awards banquet were critical of McWhorter’s award.

“Please tell us you didn’t respect an officer who…pulled the trigger on an innocent citizen with a Purple Heart. We are now in the national news and it is embarrassing for this community,” one wrote.

“Rewarding an officer for murdering someone…seems right for law enforcement these days…you should be ashamed to call yourself the protector of your community…and the people who congratulated this murderer should be ashamed,” said another. .

An investigation by the Pueblo County Sheriff’s Office found that the deputies’ actions were “consistent with and followed the training, policies, customs and practices of the Pueblo County Sheriff’s Office,” the lawsuit says.

The Pueblo County District Attorney’s Office said in an October letter that McWhorter and a second deputy had reasonable cause to believe their safety was at risk. NBC affiliate KUSA reported.

That same letter listed McWhorter’s injuries as including a contusion to his face, a contusion to the bridge of his nose, his right index finger, his lower back, his right knee and a receding contusion in the middle of his neck.

This article was originally published

#Purple #Heart #awarded #deputy #deadly #middle #school #shooting #expresses #outrage

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button