Former Johnson County prosecutor speaks about officer-involved s - KCTV5

Former Johnson County prosecutor speaks about officer-involved shooting investigations

Posted: Updated:
Paul Morrison is a former Johnson County District Attorney. (KCTV5) Paul Morrison is a former Johnson County District Attorney. (KCTV5)
OLATHE, KS (KCTV) -

Racial bias and policing is a conversation back under the national spotlight after a Tulsa, Oklahoma officer was charged with first degree manslaughter in the fatal shooting of an unarmed black man.

A former Johnson County prosecutor is speaking about the attention surrounding officer-involved shootings after such cases.

Paul Morrison, a former Johnson County District Attorney, gave his take on the investigation and tension surrounding it. He broke down why a manslaughter charge is plausible and how sensitive an investigation like this is.

"The most important thing for a prosecutor’s office is to make sure there's an outside investigation by an independent agency,” Morrison said.

Morrison explained that, in Johnson County, an officer-involved shooting team handles situations like these. The team has leaders from multiple policy agencies to maintain neutrality and has been in place for a decade.

"The bottom line is, when you work for the government and you take a human life, you're going to be highly scrutinized,” Morrison said. “And you should be."

Despite tensions, Morrison believes policing alongside technology has been helpful.

"The officers that do overuse force, those cases are getting scrutinized probably 25 times more than they would have been, and prosecutors are charging them,” Morrison said. “I think that's a really good thing."

He says feelings of unease and anxiety are hitting some communities and officers, too.

"It's a bad situation right now because I think a lot of officers are concerned about their own safety, much more than they have been in the past,” Morrison said.

What else we could see come from the investigation will all come out in time.

"You've got to be able to articulate why you've done it, and it's got to make sense to people,” Morrison said. “If you've done the right thing and done a good investigation, the rest will take care of itself."

Copyright 2016 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Missouri man charged with felony after alleged racial slur

    Missouri man charged with felony after alleged racial slur

    Thursday, January 29 2015 11:44 PM EST2015-01-30 04:44:07 GMT
    A 65-year-old Maryville man is charged with felony assault after he allegedly confronted a black server as she served him breakfast. The man is accused of assaulting her and using racially insensitive language.More >
    A 65-year-old Maryville man is charged with felony assault after he allegedly confronted a black server as she served him breakfast. The man is accused of assaulting her and using racially insensitive language. More >
  • Surveillance video captures smash and grab at Independence home

    Surveillance video captures smash and grab at Independence home

    Thursday, May 25 2017 11:19 PM EDT2017-05-26 03:19:33 GMT
    Brian Graham faces burglary and theft charges, while David Sherrill is charged with burglary and receiving stolen property. (Submitted)Brian Graham faces burglary and theft charges, while David Sherrill is charged with burglary and receiving stolen property. (Submitted)

    Thieves smashed their way inside an Independence man's home as his crystal-clear surveillance cameras rolled.  

    More >

    Thieves smashed their way inside an Independence man's home as his crystal-clear surveillance cameras rolled.  

    More >
  • 2 shooting victims found in vehicle near 104th, Holmes

    2 shooting victims found in vehicle near 104th, Holmes

    Thursday, May 25 2017 6:14 PM EDT2017-05-25 22:14:44 GMT
    Chopper 5 video of the crime scene. (KCTV5)Chopper 5 video of the crime scene. (KCTV5)

    Police are investigating a double-shooting at 104th Street and Holmes.  One person is fighting for their life, while the second victim suffered serious but non-life threatening injuries.  This is the third double-shooting in Kansas City in the past 24 hours.  This is a developing story. Stay tuned to KCTV5 News for more. 

    More >

    Police are investigating a double-shooting at 104th Street and Holmes.  One person is fighting for their life, while the second victim suffered serious but non-life threatening injuries.  This is the third double-shooting in Kansas City in the past 24 hours.  This is a developing story. Stay tuned to KCTV5 News for more. 

    More >
Powered by Frankly
KCTV 5 News

Online Public File:
KCTV  KSMO

Powered by WorldNow CNN
All content © 2017, KCTV; Kansas City, MO. (A Meredith Corporation Station) . All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices.