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article imageUnarmed Iowa man fatally shot by police officer

By Jonathan Hausler     Jun 11, 2015 in Crime
Des Moines - An Iowa man that was reportedly acting suspicious was shot and killed by a Des Moines police officer late Tuesday night during a routine traffic stop.
According to reports, it started when a man, now identified as West Des Moines native Ryan Bolinger, drove up next to a police car that had pulled another car over and boxed the officer in, making it so that he couldn't even open his car door.
Des Moines Police Sgt. Jason Halifax stated that Bolinger then got out of his car and was acting "erratically."
"It's been described as almost dancing in the street or making unusual movements in the street," said Halifax. "I don't want it to be construed that he's doing a waltz in the middle of Merle Hay Road. ... He's outside of his vehicle. He's not making a directed motion."
According to Halifax, Bolinger got back in his car and drove away. By that time, a second police officer, Vanessa Miller, was on the scene, and both officers chased after Bolinger in their vehicles.
The chase ended abruptly when Bolinger suddenly did a U-turn and stopped right in front of the police cars. Police say that he then got out of his car, and started walking towards the officers.
"He was walking with a purpose," said Halifax.
The police state that Miller fired a round from inside her squad car, which struck Bolinger and later killed him.
The Des Moines Register reports that it is not clear why Bolinger went after the police. "Police will try to determine what was happening with Bolinger at the time, including whether it could have been a suicide-by-cop attempt, Halifax said. Police are seeking search warrants to look through his vehicle and cellphone for clues."
WHOtv reported that "police say Officer Miller did not report seeing a weapon and no weapon was found at the scene. The Des Moines Police Department policy on when to use deadly force is vague. It simply says: 'The decision to use deadly force shall rest solely with the employee`s individual judgment.'"
Both officers involved in the incident are now on administrative leave until the case is resolved.
For more information, read the Des Moines Register's article on the shooting.
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