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Albany County Attorney Lets Grand Jury Decide Action On Police Shooting

Tennessee Watson
Wyoming Public Radio

Thursday a grand jury decided not to prosecute Corporal Derek Colling for killing Robbie Ramirez. The grand jury was considering a charge of involuntary manslaughter.

Colling shot the 39-year-old Laramie resident following a traffic stop in early November. The grand jury found that the officer's use of deadly force in the incident was justifiable.

This is the first time that a grand jury has been convened in the State of Wyoming relating to an officer-involved shooting. The proceedings are done in secret per Wyoming State law. Trent said it was the most appropriate course of action.

"Grand jury proceedings allow the citizens to examine the evidence and testimony," said Trent. Jurors use that information, "to determine whether the actions or inactions by law enforcement in using deadly force were within Albany County Sheriff's Office policy and training guidelines, and if they met the national use of force training standards."

Trent said now that the criminal process is complete there's more to be done.

"The next step is now to look at the policies, procedures, looking and analyzing what could be done differently."

She plans to publicly release more evidence from the case to help in that review process. Some Laramie residents are calling for the Albany County Sheriff's Department to increase training in de-escalation and alternatives to deadly force. Trent wants to help keep a discussion going, but ultimately training priorities and personnel issues like whether Corporal Colling will keep his job are up to Sheriff David O'Malley.

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