A Davenport police officer has been cleared of using deadly force in the shooting of a 21-year-old suspect.
The shooting happened around 8 a.m. Thursday, October 10, 2013 in an alley in the 900 block of West 16th Street.
Police said Officer Michael Jacobsen, a 33-year veteran of the department and Officer Thomas Runge, who has been with the Davenport Police Department for four years, were questioning Ryan Franklin after a report of a suspicious person in the area.
According to a summary from the Scott County Attorney’s Office, a woman saw Franklin in her yard. When she asked what he was doing he responded, “I got drunk and took some pills last night and didn’t want to get in trouble so I slept in your car.”
According to the summary, at approximately 8:00 a.m., two squad cars responded to the area, Officer Jacobsen and Officer Runge in separate squads arrived shortly after. As Officer Jacobsen, entered the alley off Warren Street between 15th and 16th Streets, Jacobsen saw Franklin. He left his squad car asking to talk with Franklin.
The summary says Jacobsen orders Franklin to turn around, lace his hands behind his head and drop to his knees. Franklin drops to his knees. When he turns around, Officer Jacobsen sees a gun handle sticking out of the waist band of Franklin’s pants.
“I’m holding him at gun point, he has a gun in his pants,” Jacobsen says over the radio. The report says Jacobsen had his gun trained on Franklin’s back torso as he waits for back-up.
Officer Runge arrives, telling Jacobsen he will cuff Franklin, while asking him to cover him. As Runge says this, Franklin jumps up.
Video from Officer Jacobsen’s squad car shows Franklin running from police, while moving his hand back. The report says it appears to Officer Jacobsen, that Franklin is going for his gun.
“The reason that he was reaching back again, you’re talking about something that happened in that aspect of it, probably a second or two. I don’t think a police officer is required to actually obtain their gun and point it at them, before they have to make a decision to protect their own life or not,” said Scott County Attorney Michael Walton.
Jacobsen fired three shots with a Remington 9 mm bonded, 147 grain ammunition. Two shots hit Franklin in the back and went through him.
According to the report given by Scott County Attorney Michael Walton, Fire and Medic EMS were immediately dispatched.
When Officer Runge, removed the gun from Franklin, he found a Power Line Model 1200 bb gun.
“At no time did Franklin ever state that he had a gun, nor did he ever state that the gun he had was a bb gun,” said Walton.
Franklin has declined to talk with investigators about what happened. He has talked with WQAD, saying he did not have a gun, but ended the interview when asked if he had a bb gun.
The results of a joint investigation by the Scott County Sheriff Department, Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation and Scott County Attorney was released on Wednesday, October 23, 2013. The findings of that investigation showed that Officer Jacobson’s use of deadly force was reasonable under the circumstances, because he believed it was necessary to resist a threat of injury or death.
Ryan Franklin is charged with Interference with Official Acts, and two counts of Possession of a Controlled Substance, both misdemeanors. He will likely make a court appearance on October 30, 2013.
Officer Runge was back on the job October 23, 2013. Officer Jacobsen is still on administrative leave.