State Rules Burlington Police Justified in Fatal Shooting

BURLINGTON, Iowa  --  The Iowa Attorney General's Office says the two Burlington police officers who fatally shot a man earlier this month acted within the law.

Now that the investigation is complete, the department is releasing squad car and body camera video from that day.

As KWQC's Mark Stevens explains, the attorney general's report said on October 1st, Burlington police officers Chris Chiprez and Josh Riffel pulled over 27-year-old Marquis Jones after hearing loud music coming from his car. While court records show Jones had three active arrest warrants, the report said the officers were unaware of those warrants.

Just seconds after the two cars stop, Jones got out of his car and started to run while carrying a black bag. Chiprez chased after him, and Chiprez's body camera showed he had not pulled out his gun while he ran after Jones. Meanwhile, Riffel drove the squad further down the street to try and cut off Jones.

The AG's report said Riffel tackled Jones down the street behind the squad car. Riffel hadn't turned on his body camera yet. The report said Riffel saw Jones holding a gun in his right hand. Riffel tried to disarm Jones, but retreated, turning on his body camera and yelling to Chiprez.

Jones kept running between the houses as Chiprez and Riffel headed around to the left. The report said Chiprez saw Jones in the alleyway near 6th and Maple. Chiprez yelled, "stop!" before firing one more time.

Neither officers' camera could see Jones, but the report said Chiprez saw Jones moving his hands near his chest before the last shot. Both officers were still shouting orders.

Burlington stopped the body camera footage at that point. The report said the officers started providing first aid, and the squad car recorded Chiprez calling for an ambulance.

The state ruled the use of deadly force as justified due to the direct and deadly threat posed by the suspect. Police Chief Doub Beaird said the two officers remain on paid administrative leave and are expected to resume full duty soon.