[WATCH] Des Moines Police Officer Who Fatally Shot an Unarmed Man Said She Warned Him First. She Didn’t.

The Des Moines police officer who fatally shot an unarmed man through the window of her patrol car in 2015 falsely told investigators she shouted warnings at the man before opening fire, according to court records.

Vanessa Miller, who resigned from the Des Moines Police Department in July 2016, told investigators in the immediate aftermath of the shooting that she repeatedly warned 28-year-old Ryan Bolinger to “get back” from her car before she fired her weapon at him.

That claim was later disproved by the video and audio recordings from Miller’s patrol car.

In a deposition tied to a pending lawsuit against the city, Miller also said that the look on Bolinger’s face as he approached her vehicle made it clear he intended to do her harm.

“With the way that he came at me and the look that he had on his face, there was nothing else that he was going to do,” Miller said in her deposition. “It was just the fear of being shot, instantly being shot.”

Bolinger’s family has sued the city, alleging wrongful death and claiming the police department was negligent in its training and supervision of Miller.

In court filings, the city acknowledges Miller falsely claimed to have shouted warnings to Bolinger, but defended her actions.

“While initially Officer Miller may have believed she warned Bolinger to get back, she conceded this was something she thought, but did not utter,” the city’s attorneys stated in court filings. “While Officer Miller apparently did not actually warn Bolinger to get back from her car, such warnings need be given only when it is feasible to do so.

“The circumstances in this case, including the facts of the speed of the event, what Miller perceived, and the fact that she was behind a closed window, make such a warning unfeasible.”

Miller was not disciplined as a result of what she told investigators, Des Moines Police Sgt. Paul Parizek said.

“Cognitive distortions, including memory, are common in high-stress situations,” Parizek said.

The Bolinger family’s lawsuit is not scheduled to go to trial until January 2018, and Miller’s deposition represents her first public account of what transpired the night of the shooting.

According to the police department, Officer Ian Lawler was handling a routine traffic stop at about 10 p.m. on June 9, 2015, when Bolinger pulled alongside Lawler’s patrol car, got out of his vehicle and began behaving “erratically.”

For the full story visit: http://www.desmoinesregister.com/story/news/2017/10/18/des-moines-police-officer-falsely-says-she-warned-shooting-victim/769670001/

If you haven't already, be sure to like our Filming Cops Page on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Please visit our sister site Smokers ONLY

Sign Up To Receive Your Free E-Book
‘Advanced Strategies On Filming Police’


About author

Filming Cops
Filming Cops 5620 posts

Filming Cops was started in 2010 as a conglomerative blogging service documenting police abuse. The aim isn’t to demonize the natural concept of security provision as such, but to highlight specific cases of State-monopolized police brutality that are otherwise ignored by traditional media outlets.

You might also like