Officers involved in fatal shooting will not face charges - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Officers involved in fatal shooting will not face charges

Clement Marks (left) and Alexander Fleites (right) (Source: MPD) Clement Marks (left) and Alexander Fleites (right) (Source: MPD)
Johnathan Bratcher (Source: SCSO) Johnathan Bratcher (Source: SCSO)

No criminal charges will be filed against two Memphis police officers who shot and killed a man in January 2016.

Jonathon Bratcher, 32, was killed on January 27 near Mississippi Boulevard and South Parkway. Officers said he jumped out of a car while being chased by police. When he started to run away, he fired shots at the officers behind him.

A medical examiner report revealed Bratcher's cause of a death was a bullet wound in the back of his head. Police said when Bratcher ran away, he fired shots towards the officers, and they returned fire. Witnesses back up this claim.

Memphis Police Department identified the two officers involved as Clement Marks and Alexander Fleites. Both were relieved of duty pending the investigation. Now that the investigation is over (and no charges were filed against them), they are free to return to work.

In May, District Attorney General Amy Weirich received Tennessee Bureau of Investigation's full report on the shooting. It is now policy in Shelby County for TBI to investigate any fatal officer-involved shootings. At that time, it was up to Weirich to decide whether an indictment should be sought against the officers.

"Weighing the totality of circumstances of Jan. 27, 2016, no criminal charges will be filed and no indictments will be sought against any officers in the death of Jonathon Bratcher,” Weirich said. “I believe a jury would find that the officers had lawful justification to fire their weapons at the suspect in self-defense, in the defense of others and in order to affect an arrest.” 

By law, TBI reports are not open to the public without a subpoena. Weirich filed a petition Tuesday asking a judge to open the report to the public. A hearing on that request has not been set.

"We've been looking for resolve and still aren't able to find any," Bratcher's brother William Green said. "That's just absurd."

Wednesday, the DA's office said they believe a jury would find that the officers were justified to shot in self-defense, to protect others and to make an arrest.

A petition was filed in chancery court by the DA's office to try to make the entire TBI investigative file public. Green said he supports any transparency to bring more answers about what happened.

"We're going to appeal it," he said. "We're going to bring it up the chain as far as we can."

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