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

Former Johnson County prosecutor speaks about officer-involved shooting investigations

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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."

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