Oklahoma City Police Chief Wade Gourley believes the man who shot one of his officers last year should have a harsher sentence.
This started in January of 2021 when Joel Lewis shot Officer Braden Downs during a domestic disturbance call at Lewis' home.
Gourley said he was caught off guard when Lewis took a blind plea.
“Mr. Lewis was sentenced to 6 years in prison with timed served which basically under Oklahoma law probably will amount to four years in prison,” he said.
The sentence did not sit well with OCPD. “I believe this sends a very poor message to not only this community but to our police officers each and every day that put this uniform on and go out and put themselves in harm’s way,” said the Chief.
In a press conference Wednesday afternoon Gourley recounted the moments Officer Braden Downs was met with gunfire.
“When he arrived as he was walking up to the door Joel Lewis was standing in the doorway of the home and almost immediately opened fire,” he said.
A witness to the shooting in 2021 who did not want to be identified said “one of the police officers had shields telling everyone to get back.”
Downs returned fire before back-up arrived.
“They were shooting back and forth with each other,” said the witness.
The officer was shot in the chest and hand.
“There is no doubt in my mind that officer downs not been wearing the ballistic armor that he was where that round struck him it would have killed him,” said Gourley.
The Chief said he wishes Lewis would have been given the maximum prison sentence. Gourley wants his officers to feel supported and the case to be re-examined.