After two weeks, an Oklahoma City police sergeant’s murder trial will come to a close soon.
The judge over Sergeant Keith Sweeney’s trial told jurors to return to the courthouse on Monday for closing arguments and deliberations. The defense called their final witness on Friday. His testimony had a number of interruptions and the lead defense attorney called for a mistrial several times. The judge denied his motions. The first delay started Friday morning. The Oklahoma County district attorney argued to have the defense’s final witness excluded from the trial.
The judge ruled the witness would testify but he could not talk about Sweeney’s perceptions from the deadly officer-involved shooting. She ruled that putting himself in Sweeney’s shoes was inappropriate. The final witness was a former out-of-state patrol officer turned expert witness in the area of “use of force.” He told the court he reviewed the police investigation, the body camera footage and Oklahoma City Police Department’s use of force, de-escalation and less-lethal policies. He testified that a number of things could affect de-escalation. In this case, the victim Dustin Pigeon, 29, was intoxicated and in mental health crisis.
The witness also said if a suspect is running away from police or not listening to their commands, it’s hard use de-escalation. He also testified that less-lethal options are used in de-escalation.
One of the officer’s on scene fired a bean-bag rifle at Pigeon. The shot came just as Sweeney arrived on scene and fired five bullets at the unarmed man.
If the jury finds Sweeney guilty of second-degree murder, he faces a maximum punishment of life in prison.
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