Everett police witness: Officer seemed frustrated before shooting
The second officer says the victim was “ornery,” but lethal force may not have been necessary.
Officer Steven Klocker said Niles Meservey was drunk and “ornery” June 10, but didn't pose an immediate, lethal threat to officer Troy Meade or anyone else.
The officers were trying to coax the intoxicated Stanwood man from behind the wheel of his Chevrolet Corvette, which was parked outside the Chuckwagon Inn, where Meservey had been drinking.
He was belligerent. Meade was so “belittling” to the man that Klocker later said he hoped bystanders couldn't hear what his fellow officer was saying.
At one point, Meade told Meservey, “I don't know why the (expletive) I'm here to save your dumb (expletive) ... maybe to stop you from killing yourself driving,” Klocker recalled in a June 26 statement to detectives.
Sensing that the confrontation was going to get physical, Klocker said he pulled out his electronic stun gun and a police baton. He expected Meade was going to go “hands on” with Meservey. Instead, Meade used his stun gun and shocked Meservey twice.
But the man quickly recovered, started the car, and slammed into a fence.
Meade jumped back. He tossed away his stun gun, drew his handgun and opened fire.
“I would have never shot .... I don't think we had reached that level of force yet,” Klocker told detectives.
He expected Meade to shock Meservey again, or give him a blast of pepper spray.
As he pulled a dying Meservey from the Corvette, Klocker saw the stun gun probes still in the man's shoulder.
“I could see the probes were in him and I'm thinking as I'm dragging him ... why didn't we (shock) him again ... the probes are still in him?” Klocker is quoted in a police transcript.
Klocker told detectives he wasn't accusing anyone of losing their temper, but added, “Uh, I think I sensed a little of frustration.”
Meservey, 51, died in the parking lot. He'd been struck seven times by police bullets.
Prosecutors on Monday charged Meade, an 11-year veteran, with first-degree manslaughter.
Meade has declined to provide investigators a statement about the incident. His attorney, David Allen of Seattle, said he expects the officer will win acquittal at trial.
Klocker told investigators that immediately after the shooting, Meade said he believed their lives were in danger. The other cop then put his hands atop his head and “kinda just meandered away” to wait for backup.
Klocker's statements to detectives were included among the more than 900 pages of documents officials have released about the case under public records laws.
A Snohomish County sheriff's detective and a Monroe police detective interviewed Klocker a few hours after the shooting. He also submitted to more questions about two weeks later.
Meservey's Corvette was parked between two vehicles and could only drive forward into the fence or backward into Meade's patrol car.
Klocker told detectives he didn't think anyone in front of the car was in danger, and that the worst-case scenario was that the Corvette would back into the side of Meade's patrol car.
It wasn't until six days after the shooting that Klocker first told detectives he remembered Meade said something like, “Time to end this; enough is enough,” just before shooting Meservey.
The officer said he believed Meade was speaking to him — not the driver — before he opened fire.
Klocker told investigators he was concerned about what could happen. He told them he'd been involved in a previous use-of-force investigation involving another officer and had gone through “six months of hell.”
Detectives told Klocker he needed to do the right thing and tell the truth.
Diana Hefley: 425-339-3463, firstname.lastname@example.org.
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