The off-duty Tucson police officer who fatally shot a man in a wheelchair nine times in the back is facing a manslaughter charge.
Former officer Ryan Remington, 32, is accused of recklessly causing the death of 61-year-old Richard Lee Richards, according to Pima County Attorney Laura Conover.
“It appears now that this case will go to trial and we will do our best to ensure that it is a fair trial,” Conover said during a press conference. “My office, despite considerable pressure to rush to judgment, took careful, calculated, and thorough steps to come to this decision. We took the time to get it right.”
According to The Daily Mail, the cop shot Richards nine times after he allegedly stole a toolbox from Walmart. Richards reportedly flashed a knife at a store employee when asked for a receipt for the product. The former police officer while showing the weapon to the clerk said, “Here’s your receipt.”
Video footage showed the wheelchair-bound man motoring across the parking lot from the Walmart to the nearby Lowe’s where two officers confront him ordering him to stop. A few seconds later Remington can be seen unloading his weapon on the accused shoplifter.
The video footage shows store security following Richards across the parking lot to recover the stolen good. Confronting the Walmart worker, Richards reportedly said,
“If you want me to put down the knife, you’re going to have to shoot me.” Cops were then called in. Remington can be heard saying, “Do not go into the store, sir” whereas, the other cop can be heard yelling, “Stop now. You need to stop.”
Remington’s bodycam footage shows him pulling out his gun as he began firing his service weapon from behind until Richards tumbles over and falls out of his wheelchair.
Security footage from Lowe’s showed three officers attending to Richards but he soon succumbed to his injuries. According to Daily Mail, the former Arizona cop has been ordered to be photographed and handcuffed at the Pima County Superior Court after his indictment. He will be arraigned on the manslaughter charges on August 31.
More details of this story from AWM:
In Arizona, manslaughter is considered a class-two felony with a minimum of seven years in prison. The definition of the term is “recklessly causing the death of another person.”
Meanwhile, the police officer’s legal team is planning to fight the charge.
“Manslaughter doesn’t even fit,” Remington’s lawyer Mike Storie told KVOA. “I don’t want to get into legal arguments, but it’s a legal fiction. So I’ll be very interested to read the grand jury transcript and find out what went on in that room when I was not present.”
The lawyer added, “He did have a taser, but in his mind, he couldn’t use it because he didn’t feel he had the proper spread to deploy it, with the wheelchair between him and Richards.”
Tucson Mayor Regina Romero is glad the bad cop is going down for his crime.
“Now that the Grand Jury has issued an indictment and Ryan Remington will face criminal charges, it is a matter for the courts to adjudicate,” the Tucson mayor tweeted.
The trial is set to begin on October 24, 2022. Officer Ryan Remington will be facing up to 21 years in prison if he’s convicted of manslaughter.
Watch the video report below for more details: (Warning: Graphic)