Crime

Lawrence police officer is charged in shooting of motorist during traffic stop in May

A criminal charge has been filed against a Lawrence police officer who shot a motorist during an altercation in May.

The motorist, who survived, was also charged in the incident and faces several counts including battery on a law enforcement officer, according to a news release from the Douglas County District Attorney’s Office.

The officer, Brindley Blood, was charged with reckless aggravated battery. A summons was issued for her to appear in court on Sept. 27.

The motorist, Akira S. Lewis, was also issued a summons to appear in court on Sept. 26.

The May 29 incident began when another Lawrence officer, Ian McCann, pulled Lewis over for not wearing a seat belt.

According to the district attorney’s news release, Lewis refused to show the officer his identification.

McCann called for backup and told Lewis he would be arrested if he did not cooperate.

After Officer Blood arrived, McCann opened the car door and physically removed Lewis from the vehicle.

Lewis allegedly began to batter McCann, and when Blood attempted to intervene, Blood discharged her service weapon, striking Lewis.

Because of the possibility of Lewis being both a victim and defendant in the case, Douglas County prosecutors asked the Johnson County District Attorney’s office to review the case.

The Johnson County District Attorney recommended charging Lewis with battery on a law enforcement officer, interference with a law enforcement officer, no proof of insurance and driving without a seat belt.

Douglas County prosecutors made the decision to charge the officer.

She was placed on administrative leave after the shooting, and the police department said Thursday it has begun an internal review to determine if any department policies were violated during the incident.

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