The Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation and Scott County Sheriff’s office have wrapped up their investigation into a shooting by a Davenport police officer last week. Chief Mike Bladel says two officers had made a drug bust in a Quad Cities hotel room when a suspect there began fighting with one of the cops.
The city attorney’s told him the investigation concluded that the other officer was justified in firing the shot that injured the suspect. “That the force used by the officer was necessary in the circumstances and that there will be no further review by my office as to possible criminal charges.”
Frederick Ewing of Davenport was shot and wounded in the struggle August 8th, and is recovering at University Hospitals. The chief says two officers went to the downtown hotel on tips about drug dealing and marijuana odors from a room there. Chief Bladel says as one of the officers struggled with a suspect they’d found flushing drugs down a toilet in the room, the man tried to grab the officer’s gun.
When officers are involved in a life-and-death struggle, he says an officer is not only authorized to use force, but obligated to use “whatever force necessary” to halt a threat to themselves or a citizen of the city. Bladel explains, “We have an obligation to use deadly force if it’s needed to stop the action. It’s not just authorized — he has an obligation to protect his partner, and that’s exactly what he did.”
Officers Al Welke and Leslie Hickenbottom were exonerated in the investigation. The suspect, 30-year-old Frederick Ewing, is recovering in a hospital. No charges were filed against Ewing or a woman who was also in the hotel room, but the chief says the investigation is continuing.