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Byrd plans to stay on Marion shooting case

Harrison County Prosecutor Dennis Byrd released a statement Friday announcing he would remain on the case of the Jan. 20 non-fatal shooting of Louisvillian Trent Marion by Harrison County police officers who believed he was armed.
The statement also says, ‘A review of the facts provides that at the very least, a vast majority of the actions of law enforcement were justified,’ but, Byrd wrote, a grand jury will ‘review specific facts as they relate to specific events that occurred.’
Marion, 36, was pursued through three counties after police attempted to arrest him for allegedly shoplifting at a Louisville Kroger. He suffered gunshot wounds to his wrists and right eye while operating his vehicle in the median of Interstate 64 in Harrison County. His right eye has since been removed.
Byrd’s three-page statement explains his decision to remain on the case and describes the task before him in determining whether the use of force in apprehending Marion was justified.
It also provides the most-detailed account and most-violent picture of Marion’s activities released thus far, gleaned, according to Byrd, from ‘pictures, records, reports and videos generated by law enforcement and medical personnel.’
At the Louisville Kroger where he was first confronted, ‘Marion made his way out of the store and into the parking lot where he entered a Ford Explorer by punching and pushing officers and by swinging (his) infant. Trent Marion started the vehicle and fled striking a car in the parking lot, almost striking officers and leaving the infant,’ the statement said.
Once on the Interstate, ‘Marion repeatedly drove the Explorer at unsafe speeds, in and out of traffic, on and off the road, swerved at patrol cars and officers, endangering everyone involved including innocent citizens traveling on Interstate 64,’ the statement said.
The Rev. Louis Coleman, a Louisville civil rights activist and head of the Justice Resource Center, visited Byrd several times in the weeks following the shooting. Frustrated by what he viewed as a lack of action, Coleman eventually asked Byrd to remove himself from the case. Byrd countered by saying he would take as much time as he felt necessary to make the right decision.
Byrd’s latest statement said the final piece of the investigative report devised for him regarding the events of Jan. 20, the date Marion was shot, is dated March 1.

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