A Fort Smith police officer who shot a suspect on March 31 has been cleared of any wrongdoing, according to the Sebastian County prosecuting attorney.
Officer Brandon Djordjevic shot Anthony Dewayne Price while the two struggled after a post-party traffic stop. Djordjevic thought the man may have been reaching for a weapon.
Under Arkansas law, law enforcement officers are authorized to use physical force or to threaten the use of deadly physical force to effect an arrest or defend the officer or anyone else, prosecutor Daniel Shue said Monday (April 29).
Shue reviewed the police investigative file, which included 911 calls and statements from witnesses.
Djordjevic was one of the officers who responded to complaints at approximately 3:37 a.m. March 31 about intoxicated people refusing to leave a parking lot after a party at the Fifth Season Inn on Waldron Road. Djordjevic stopped a car driven by Price in the parking lot, according to police.
Djordjevic was on the passenger side of the car when Price attempted to drive away. He dove into the car to put it in park to prevent Price from leaving, the police report said.
The two got into an altercation with Djordjevic partially in the vehicle, which Price repeatedly tried to drive away in, the report said. During the struggle, the officer said Price appeared to reach for something under the driver’s seat.
Djordjevic then drew his weapon and shot Price once in the right leg, the release said. Price was taken to the hospital and later arrested on charges of aggravated assault, drug possession and parole violation.