No Criminal Charges in January, 2020 Police Shooting
SPOKANE COUNTY, March 31, 2020 – The Spokane County Prosecutor’s Office has determined that Spokane County Sheriff’s Deputy Brent Miller was justified in use of lethal force against Clando Anitok while attempting to contact/arrest him for felony eluding following a chase through a residential neighborhood in the area of North Wall St. and West Weile Ave. in Spokane County.
At about 3:50 am on January 10, 2020, Deputy Miller was travelling eastbound on West Cascade Way in his fully marked patrol car when he observed a Chrysler Pacifica travelling westbound that had a defective headlight. Miller ran a check on the vehicle and determined that the registration had expired.
As the Pacifica passed the Deputy in the opposite direction, Miller also noted that it had a defective brake light. A traffic stop was initiated at the intersection of North Monroe and North Wall. Miller activated his overhead lights but the driver, later identified as Anitok, did not pull over. Instead, Anitok accelerated and turned westbound on West Weile.
As Anitok accelerated, he began to flee in a very uncontrolled manner with excessive speed up to an estimated 50 MPH in a 25 MPH residential zone, and making dramatic movements from one side of the roadway to the other. As Anitok turned south onto S. Post, his vehicle hit the curb and proceeded onto the sidewalk, nearly striking a fence, before returning to the roadway. After attempting to turn south on Post from West Wedgewood, Anitok lost control of the vehicle, ran through a fence and came to rest in the yard of the residence at 6908 N. Post.
When Miller attempted contact with Anitok, he refused to shut down the engine. When Anitok eventually got out of the vehicle, he refused commands to go to the ground. Anitok advanced towards Miller and did not speak. Miller warned Anitok that he could be shot if he did not obey commands. Miller then attempted to tase Anitok. The taser had no effect and a second attempt at tasing Anitok resulted in a malfunction.
Anitok then retreated into the backyard and Miller briefly lost sight of him. Miller soon saw Anitok at the back of the residence. It appeared to Miller that Anitok intended to break into the residence to possibly take hostages in order to negotiate an escape. Again, Miller yelled at Anitok to stop and get on the ground. Again Anitok did not respond. Miller then observed Anitok move both of his hands and arms from alongside his body to the area of his waistband. Miller believed that Anitok intended to retrieve a weapon and use it on Miller. Miller concluded that the only way to resolve the quickly evolving situation was to use deadly force. Miller fired one time at Anitok, striking him in the head. Anitok was eventually declared deceased at the scene.
The subsequent investigation determined that Anitok was not armed. His BAC was determined to be .17.
Under the facts and circumstances presented at the time, Deputy Miller was justified in his use of deadly force. Based on the totality of the circumstances, at the time of the application of deadly force, Deputy Miller had a good faith belief in the correctness of his actions and was acting pursuant to RCW 9A.16.040. Therefore, no criminal charges will be filed in this matter.