Expert contradicts officers in wrongful death caseby Brandt Williams, Minnesota Public Radio
Minneapolis — An expert who testified today in the wrongful death trial of two Minneapolis police officers contradicted the officers accounts of the night they shot and killed a man in 2006.
Officers Jason King and Lawrence Loonsfoot testified that in the struggle to subdue Dominic Felder, Felder managed to grab officer King's gun.
King said at one point he and Felder were sitting on the ground facing each other playing tug-of-war with King's gun. The officer said he fired one shot at close range into Felder.
However, King said Felder continued to hold onto the gun until Loonsfoot shot Felder six times.
But a forensic ballistic expert for the plaintiffs testified that the officers' accounts don't match the autopsy report.
Richard Ernest said the bullet fired by King hit Felder in the groin and traveled upward in his body. He also said there was no powder residue on the crotch of Felder's pants.
Ernest said Felder's clothes should have been covered in gun powder residue. So he estimates the shot from King's gun came from about three to five feet away.
Ernest also said three bullets hit Felder in the back part of his body. The officers said they were facing Felder when they shot him. Ernest, who testified via a video, held up photos of a recreation of the shooting.
For his reconstruction, Ernest dressed a dummy in Felder's bullet hole ridden pants and shirt. The photos include yellow rods meant to represent the path the bullets took into Felder's body. One photo shows the dummy laying on it's left side with it's right leg raised. Two yellow rods represent the path of bullets going down into the dummy's right shoulder blade and right buttock.
Officers King and Loonsfoot were both cleared by an Internal Affairs investigation and a grand jury.
The defense will likely start their case Wednesday afternoon.