The four Baton Rouge police officers accused of shooting and killing an armed man after a chase that ended in West Baton Rouge Parish have been cleared of any wrongdoing by the Police Department’s Internal Affairs Division, a spokesman said Tuesday.
Investigators with the division looked into whether the officers violated any of the Police Department’s policies and procedures when Darryl Douglas Parault, 48, of Jarreau, was fatally shot on Aug. 5, police spokesman Cpl. L’Jean McKneely said.
The investigators determined the officers followed the department’s policies and procedures, McKneely said.
The investigators’ findings, along with State Police’s investigation into the incident, were forwarded to Police Chief Dewayne White’s office on Tuesday, McKneely said.
White will review the investigations and decide if any action against the officers is needed, McKneely said.
White declined comment Tuesday but said a couple of weeks after the shooting that, based on a video of the incident, “I think they handled themselves in a manner that the situation dictated.”
State Police spokesman Lt. Doug Cain said Tuesday that his office’s investigation into the incident was forwarded to the 18th Judicial District Attorney’s Office on Monday.
Cain referred all questions about the investigation to District Attorney Ricky Ward Jr.
Speaking on behalf of Ward, prosecutor Tony Clayton said Tuesday that State Police’s investigation — which includes witness statements and video of the incident — shows “the officers were clearly justified.”
But, Clayton said, it’s customary to bring officer-involved shootings to a grand jury “to make sure the public is comfortable with our findings.”
Clayton said he plans on convening a grand jury in Parault’s case within 10 to 14 days.
Police have said the incident involving Parault started at 11:15 p.m. when a Baton Rouge police officer in a marked police car tried to pull over Parault for a traffic violation on Airline Highway near Florida Boulevard.
Parault refused to stop and led police on a pursuit over the U.S. 190 Bridge into West Baton Rouge Parish, police have said. Three more officers in police cars joined the chase, police have said.
The pursuit, which never reached high speed, continued on U.S. 190 until a mile past the intersection with La. 415, police have said. Parault pulled over on the right shoulder, police have said.
As Parault got out of his small pickup as ordered, the “officers observed a gun in his hand” and police ordered him to drop the gun, police have said. When he refused to comply, the “officers shot him,” police have said.
Parault died at the scene.
Clayton said State Police’s investigation shows that Parault pointed the gun at the officers prior to being shot.
The prosecutor did not know how many officers fired their weapons, but said the shots ceased after Parault fell to the ground.
The officers involved in the shooting — Paul Brown, 27; Richard McCloskey, 29; Nicholas Morgan, 31; and Joshua Ellis, 36 — were placed on administrative leave almost two weeks before returning to work on Aug. 16.