Report: Officer ‘Acted Within Policy' in Fatal Shooting

A Maine police officer “acted within policy” when he fatally shot a knife-wielding man in February, according to an internal review.

Waterville Officer Paul Heath shot and killed Eric J. Porter, 32, of Hartland, who reportedly charged at a police cruiser with a knife on Feb. 11, according to the department’s incident review team report released Friday, the Morning Sentinel reported.

Police Chief Joseph Massey said he would have no further comment about the report until the state attorney general’s office has completed its own investigation into the shooting.

The review found that Heath was trained properly in the use of force, and indicates that pepper spray and an electronic stun gun were unsuccessfully deployed by police before the shooting. Heath’s service weapon was found to be functioning properly.

Heath fired twice and Porter was struck once, the report found.

The committee that reviewed the shooting also recommended the purchase of body or cruiser cameras for the department, although they would not have made a difference in this instance, the report stated.

In conclusion, the review found “Officer Heath acted within policy and that those policies were adequate for the incident.”

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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