- Associated Press - Thursday, May 12, 2016

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP) - A police officer who shot and fatally wounded a Marianna man last month followed proper protocol, the Fayetteville Police Department has determined.

The conclusion promoted about 40 people to protest outside the Fayetteville Police Department on Wednesday, the Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette (https://bit.ly/1TddHGY ) reported.

Officer Brandon Jones shot 33-year-old Willie Tillman four times during a traffic stop that turned into a fight April 22. Tillman died 18 days later. Jones had been on paid leave pending the outcome of the internal investigation. Department spokesman Sgt. Craig Stout said Jones will return to work.

The “investigation clearly indicated the officers’ actions were justified, lawful and proper,” a statement from the Police Department said. “Both officers’ actions were found to be within Fayetteville Police Department Policies, Procedures and Rules.”

At the protest and vigil outside the Police Department, residents repeatedly said “Willie Tillman” in unison. Organizer Fernando Garcia said the event was meant to honor Tillman and shed a light on racial problems some residents see between police and public.

Protesters said police should be more transparent about what happened to Tillman.

No information, including any video, will be released until the criminal investigation into Tillman’s death is completed, said Matt Durrett, a Washington County prosecutor.

Rodell Livingston, a friend of Tillman and his family, said the criminal investigation is taking too long.

“They already had two weeks to come up with their story,” Livingston said.

Livingston said he drove from Marianna to speak at the protest.

“Sherman was a regular guy - like any of us,” Livingston said. “He didn’t have to die.”


Information from: Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, https://www.nwaonline.com

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