No Charges Filed Against Officers In Death Of Osaze Osagie
State College police officers’ use of force while serving a mental health warrant that resulted in the death of Osaze Osagie on March 20 was justified, according to a report released Wednesday by Centre County District Attorney Bernie Cantorna after a month-long investigation by state police.
Cantorna said the officers were in a “life-and-death situation” when they first used a taser and then shot Osagie who was approaching them with a 5.16-inch steak knife. Osagie died of multiple gunshot wounds after the confrontation at his apartment on Old Boalsburg Road. No charges will be filed against any of the officers involved in serving the warrant, and none of them were referenced by name by Cantorna.
“Given the distance between Mr. Osagie and the officers and the speed at which Mr. Osagie was moving, Mr. Osagie had ample opportunity to seriously injure and potentially kill both officers,” Cantora said in a press conference. “The time that Officer No. 1 shot, there was no time for any alternative means to stop a potentially deadly attack by Mr. Osagie. At the time of the incident, both officers acted consistently with their training and were justified in the use of force.”
The full report detailed the course of events that led to the Osagie’s death after his father reported him missing on March 19. According to Cantorna, the confrontation between Osagie and police at his apartment lasted about 30 seconds from the first knock on the door until he approached them with a knife and was shot.
Cantorna gave an update on the investigation last month after interviews of “all persons identified as having knowledge of the incident” had been conducted. At the time, evidence had been processed and sent to to the state police crime lab in Harrisburg for testing.
This report comes after a heavy display of opposition from community members who requested the Borough fire and charge the police officers involved, create a community task force of some kind to oversee the investigation, give Osagie’s family the option to review body-cam footage, and provide funds for the family for grief and counseling expenses.
Protesters staging a lie-in forced one Borough Council work session to adjourn last month and said, “If our demands are not met, the protests will continue indefinitely. The demonstrations will continue indefinitely.”
Cantorna’s full press conference can be viewed below, courtesy of the Centre Daily Times.
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