George Terwilliger on Fox News: Investigations of Officer-Involved Shootings Take Time

July 13, 2016

McGuireWoods Washington, D.C., partner George Terwilliger, a former federal prosecutor and deputy attorney general, said in a nationwide Fox News interview aired July 10 that thorough federal and state investigations into recent police-involved shootings in Louisiana and Minnesota take time but will bring forth necessary facts about both incidents.

Terwilliger said the investigations are essential to determine what happened last week in Baton Rouge and near St. Paul when two African-American men were fatally shot. First reports about those shootings, followed by a July 7 attack in Dallas that left five police officers dead, have left the nation on edge. Impartial, methodical finding of facts will provide the nation with a full understanding of the tragedies, he said.

“Whether it’s a federal or local investigation, at the end of the day the public becomes pretty well informed about what the results of those investigations are. I think the important thing is for everybody — the public, political figures — to withhold judgment on these situations until those facts are in,” Terwilliger said. “Oftentimes, we see a little bit of a video snippet or something from a few witnesses, but then when we get all the facts . . . things certainly can look very different,” he added.

“Investigations that are conducted fairly send a message to the law enforcement officers: ‘Look, we support you, but we’re going to deal with those circumstances that arise, unfortunately, from time to time where officers may get outside the law,’ ” he said. “Sometimes it’s a mistake, sometimes it’s bad judgment, sometimes it’s intentionally bad conduct. Intentionally bad conduct that violates the law has to be prosecuted.”

To view the full interview, click here.

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