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Murder charge dismissed against Oklahoma officer in shooting

September 3, 2021 GMT

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A murder charge has been dismissed against a suburban Oklahoma City police officer who fatally shot a man who refused to drop a baseball bat as he approached the officer.

Prosecutors did not present enough evidence that The Village officer Chance Avery committed a crime when he fatally shot Christopher Poor in 2020, Oklahoma County Special Judge Lisa Hammond ruled Thursday.

The ruling will be appealed, said District Attorney David Prater.

“We’re going to continue to hold police officers accountable when they cross the line, and when they violate the law and kill people that they shouldn’t be killing,” Prater said.

Avery was called to the home by Poor’s wife, who was retrieving personal belongings, when Poor ran inside carrying the bat and was shot by Avery after refusing to drop the bat, police said.

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Defense attorney Gary James said Avery had a right to use deadly force because Poor ignored multiple commands to drop the bat and continued toward the officer.

“Chance Avery did his job,” James said, “Very unfortunate someone lost their life, but not by Corporal Avery’s actions. Those were the actions of Mr. Poor. It’s a sad day anytime someone dies. I think it’s a good day for law enforcement.”