U.S. Attorney's Office declines to prosecute an officer involved in a fatal shooting


March 14, 2024

Federal Bureau of Investigation

Posey's BB gun

The United States Attorney's Office for the District of Wyoming announced today that federal

authorities will not pursue criminal charges against the Wind River Police Department officer

involved in the fatal shooting of Terrance Skye Posey of Ethete, Wyoming, on August 11, 2022.

This incident occurred on the Wind River Indian Reservation and was thoroughly investigated by

the FBI. Prosecutors from the U.S. Attorney's Office and the Civil Rights Division's Criminal

Section of the Department of Justice carefully reviewed the investigation and have concluded that

the evidence is insufficient to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the officer violated Posey's

civil rights or that the officer did not act in self -defense.

The investigation showed that a Wind River Police Department officer was dispatched to Posey's

residence because two individuals had called asking for help, saying that Posey had threatened

them with a knife and was outside with a BB gun. When the officer arrived, the individuals were

still in the home and asking for help. The officer knocked on the front door, and through a window

in the door the officer saw Mr. Posey approach. The officer asked him to come outside. Posey

refused, told the officer to go away, and disappeared into the residence. The officer then heard

individuals yelling from inside the home that they were locked in the bedroom. Mr. Posey returned

to the door and pointed a weapon at the officer.

From the officer's perspective, the weapon

appeared virtually identical to a semiautomatic

handgun. The officer ordered Posey to drop the

weapon, but Posey continued to point it at the

officer, tracking the officer as he moved. Believing

that Posey intended to shoot him with the weapon,

and being unable to determine it was not a firearm,

the officer shot Mr. Posey through the door. The

officer then entered the residence and attempted to

resuscitate Posey, but he was unsuccessful. When

investigators inspected Posey's weapon, they

determined that it was not a firearm, but rather was

a BB gun that looked very much like a firearm.

Applying applicable legal principles, and the Principles of Federal Prosecution, federal

prosecutors determined that no criminal charges should be brought against the officer. They

concluded the evidence was insufficient to establish, beyond a reasonable doubt, that the officer

did not reasonably believe the force he used was necessary to defend himself against an immediate threat of death or great bodily harm. They further concluded the evidence was insufficient to establish, beyond a reasonable doubt, that rather than acting in self-defense, the officer acted unreasonably and for the specific purpose of violating Posey's constitutional right to be free from an unreasonable use of force.

After deciding that no criminal charges should be filed, federal authorities notified Mr. Posey's family of this decision.


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