Providence and State Police Cleared By Grand Jury in I-95 Shooting

Saturday, February 03, 2018
GoLocalWorcester News Team

A grand jury has cleared both Providence and Rhode Island State Police in the shooting on I-95 last year.

Colonel Ann C. Assumpico, Superintendent of the Rhode Island State Police and Director of the Department of Public Safety, today issued the following statement in response to the results of the Grand Jury investigation into a police-involved shooting on November 9, 2017:

“The Rhode Island State Police believes the Grand Jury made the right decision. The men and women of the Rhode Island State Police and the Providence Police Department did what they are trained to do – to protect the lives of innocent people who were in imminent danger that day.”

The Providence County Grand Jury has completed its investigation into the facts and circumstances surrounding the fatal shooting of Joseph Santos and the non-fatal shooting of Christine Demers by members of the Rhode Island State Police and the Providence Police on November 9, 2017, and has determined that the actions by the Troopers and Officers were lawful and legally justified, reports the RI Attorney General Peter Kilmartin.

The names of the Troopers and Officers involved:

Rhode Island State Police Lieutenant Cynthia Trahan Corporal Scott Carlsten Corporal Herbert Tilson Trooper Garrett Hassett 
Providence Police Officers Major Oscar Perez Sergeant Gregory Paolo Officer Matthew McGloin Officer Thomas Zincone Officer Christopher Ziroli

The controversial police shooting on I-95 last in November of Joseph Santos came under greater scrutiny when ACLU Executive Director Steve Brown raised significant questions about the chase of the white pickup. Brown made the comments while appearing on GoLocal LIVE.

“If you say that he was using the vehicle as a dangerous weapon then, I think you have to argue he was using the vehicle as a dangerous weapon the whole time, which would mean [police] could use deadly force any time there's a high-speed chase,” said Brown.

“We tried to put all the information together. What concerned us in both news conferences is that officials said that although the investigation was ongoing they felt everything was done 'properly,” said Brown.

Both the Providence Police on Friday at a press conference and the Rhode Island State Police on Saturday outlined their respective roles in the chase and shooting. The chase involved more than 40 police vehicles, once Santos and his passenger Christine Demers were pinned in on I-95 there are more than 60 police officials viewable on site, and 43 bullets were shot at the pickup killing Santos and critically injuring Demers.


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