Lawsuit: Clark County deputy who shot news photographer inadequately trained

A local news photographer, in an amended civil lawsuit, alleges the Clark County Sheriff’s Office provided inadequate training and supervision to a deputy who shot him twice last September.

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The complaint, filed in U.S. District Court, alleges Clark County Sheriff’s Deputy Jacob Shaw received inadequate training and should not have been on patrol last September when he fired two shots and wounded Andy Grimm, a photographer for the New Carlisle News.

Shaw told investigators he could not identify Grimm that night and believed he was being threatened with a weapon. He was cleared of all possible charges by a Clark County grand jury in March and returned to road patrol in late July following the conclusion of the internal investigation.

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Grimm told the Springfield News-Sun on Wednesday he filed the latest complaint because he believes authorities did not thoroughly investigate the case and have damaged his reputation.

“Not only are they not investigating it, they’re pouring it on me like I did something wrong,” Grimm said.

Grimm’s latest complaint alleges Shaw began field training on June 5 last year and the state required a minimum of 13 weeks of training. The shooting occurred on Sept. 4, 2017, but the complaint argues Shaw should still have been in training on Sept. 11. It also alleges Shaw requested additional training before being given his own road patrol.

“Shaw would not have shot Andy if he was not on a solo road patrol the night of the shooting, as another more experienced officer would have known that deadly force was unreasonable and unnecessary,” the complaint states.

Clark County Sheriff Deb Burchett did not return a call seeking comment Wednesday night.

The News-Sun recently reported internal investigators found Shaw acted properly and did not violate any office policies.

“All testimony indicates that Deputy Jake Shaw was presented with a situation in which he had reasonable belief that there was an immediate life-threatening situation which could cause serious physical harm if not death inflicted upon himself. Not only did Deputy Shaw perceive himself to be under immediate imminent threat but also potentially the life and safety of the subject he had on the traffic stop.”

Shaw followed policy and procedure and was objectively reasonable, the investigation findings said.

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