North Carolina Department of Justice
North Carolina Department of Justice
North Carolina Department of Justice
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No Charges Filed in Death of Brandon Webster

Release date: 4/12/2019

(RALEIGH) Attorney General Josh Stein today announced that charges will not be brought against North Carolina State Highway Patrol Trooper Scott Collins over the death of Brandon Webster because the evidence showed that Trooper Collins acted reasonably in the face of a deadly threat.
 
Attorney General Stein released the following statement about the decision:
 
“After conducting a thorough review of this case, my Criminal Bureau Chief has concluded that charges against Trooper Collins should not be filed and I agree. Any untimely death is always a tragedy, but the evidence does not support filing criminal charges in this case.
 
“Based on the video, audio, and witness statements, we have determined that a reasonable officer in this situation would have reasonably believed that the truck, rapidly accelerating toward him, posed an imminent threat of deadly physical force. As a result, Trooper Collins’ use of force was not excessive under the circumstances.
 
“Law enforcement use of force continues to be an area of great concern for many. Through the North Carolina Justice Academy, the North Carolina Department of Justice will continue to train law enforcement officers in de-escalation techniques and other strategies to avoid the use of force when possible. When the life of an officer or other person is threatened, however, an officer may reasonably respond with force in self-defense or the defense of others.”
 
In the interest of transparency, the North Carolina Department of Justice has released video footage of this incident from the convenience store surveillance cameras and from a witness’ cellphone. Those videos are available here.
 
The North Carolina Department of Justice’s Special Prosecutions Section took over the case on Jan. 28, 2019, at the request of District Attorney Billy West. The Special Prosecutions Section is available to prosecute or assist in prosecutions when district attorney offices face issues of conflict or, as in this case, resource constraints.

Contact:
Laura Brewer (919) 716-6484

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