Duluth police officer cleared in shooting of Norton Park Teen

By KBJR News 1

September 15, 2010 Updated Sep 15, 2010 at 6:25 PM CDT

DULUTH, MINN. --- No charges will be filed against the Duluth police officer who shot and killed a Norton Park teen earlier this summer.

The altercation that led to 17-year-old Joey Carl's death lasted only 27 seconds.-The entire incident was caught on Keast's squad car dash cam.

After reviewing that video, analyzing the medical examiner's report and going over statements from Keast and several witnesses on the scene Scott county attorney Pat Ciliberto ruled that officer Keast did what he had to do to protect himself and others.

The video shows Carl coming out from behind two cars and charging at the squad car with a baseball bat. He starts smashing in the squad's windshield.

Keast attempts to reverse his car as the teen continues to strike.
The squad car hits a vehicle behind it and comes to a stop.
Carl then makes his way to the driver's side window and continues pounding on the squad car. Keast yells at him telling him to put the bat down.

A single shot is fired and hits Carl in the chest.

The video shows Keast getting out of his car and starting CPR. You can't see him through the smashed windshield but you can hear him talking to Carl saying "hang in there partner." But Carl stops breathing and eventually dies on the scene. Toxicology tests showed Carl had a blood alcohol content of .155. A urine drug screen also tested positive for THC, the active ingredient in marijuana.

Police Chief Gordon Ramsay said with all facts considered the use of deadly force to protect Keast and others on the scene is justified.

"He felt the impact and the bat go by his head. The bat is cocked and ready to go again. This is a deadly force situation. That's what we train for and he did what was appropriate," Ramsay said.

Officer Keast cited Carl for underage drinking earlier in the evening and even drove him home.

Keast reported that everything seemed fine when he left Carl.
But it was just a few minutes after Keast left that he was called back to the scene. Reports came in that Carl was yelling and smashing windows.

To avoid the possibility of conflict of interest the review was turned over to the Scott County attorney's office.

Officer Keast has been on paid administrative leave since the incident. He will be back on the job on Friday.

Posted by Boua Xiong
bxiong@northlandsnewscenter.com

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