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Shooting Death Of Deacon Turner Ruled Justified

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Not Raylan Givens justified, either. Former Bengals running back David Lee Turner, also known as Deacon, was shot and killed two weekends ago by Deputies. The circumstances appear suspect; as suspect as they can be to a bunch of readers and writers that just weren't there. According to most reports, responded to complaints at a convenient store after a store manager claimed teenagers were asking customers to buy alcohol and cigarettes for them.

Deacon Turner left the store with two juveniles, one of whom was Turner's son, when deputies arrived asking him to hold on. Initially complying, Turner decided to leave and when deputies chased after him, Deputy Aaron Nadal was hit in the back of the head with a bag containing two 24 ounce cans of beer. Deputy Wesley Kraft then pulled his weapon and fired two shots into Turner, who died two hours later at Kern Medical Center.

A shooting review board cleared the deputy that shot and killed Turner of any wrong-doing, while adding a detailed picture to what happened that night.

It all started about 12:45 a.m. on July 10, at the Fastrip store at Niles Street and Mt. Vernon Avenue, when deputies confronted Turner, who they thought may be buying alcohol for minors. Turner was detained in the parking lot with his 19-year-old son and a 16-year-old juvenile. But as deputies began to investigate, they say he picked up his two grocery bags and tried to walk off. Sheriff Youngblood said Turner had two warrants out for his arrest, and that may be why he became aggravated. A deputy went after him and hit him in the lower legs with a baton. That's when they say Turner struck Deputy Aaron Nadal in the head, and his beat partner Wesley Kraft shot him.

So Turner walks away and gets hit in the lower legs with a baton for his troubles? Then, like a slow motion epic fight scene, Turner spins around with his bag of two 24-ounce cans of alcohol and nails a deputy in the back of the head, who apparently think it's cause enough to use lethal force. Though we suppose it could be called that and in the heat of the moment, survival instincts kick in. Even so that can't be the only means of subduing someone. We're not demeaning the police force, which has to be the most thankless and over-scrutinized job in America outside of politics.

At the same time, based on the reports that have been released, we have a hard time believing that because Turner just walked away, that it was justified use of a baton into the lower legs. Though as we say repeatedly, we just weren't there and the reports being released aren't painting a complete picture.

One witness disputed the report.

"I saw the stuff flying because they kept hitting him, and they made the bag fly up because they kept hitting him, but he didn't hit anybody. He didn't do anything; he just followed their rules," said Phyllis Elijah, who was at the Fastrip that night.

"So then deputies just shot him -- execution-style is what I call it," Elijah said. "I later hear people screaming, and I heard somebody say, 'Why did you shoot my dad for no reason?'"

Two of Turner's children several hours later, shouting at police officers and making threats, were arrested on charges of "making criminal threats" and "participation in a criminal street gang". The family intends to take legal action, already hiring Johnnie Cochran's firm to take the Turner's case.