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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Spokane Police release video footage of 2022 officer shooting of Robert Bradley

Spokane Police Captain Tracie Meidl presents video footage of police shooting and killing Robert Bradley in 2022. Spokane County Prosecutor Larry Haskell said in March he would not file charges against the officers involved.  (Emma Epperly / The Spokesman-Review)

Spokane police have released body camera and surveillance footage of officers shooting and killing an armed man on his property, weeks after prosecutors found the use of force justified.

Officers shot Robert Bradley in September 2022 when they say he pulled a handgun on them as they were trying to serve a court order.

Bradley’s family filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the Spokane Police Department last year, alleging the 41-year-old was unloading guns and camping gear from his van from a camping trip when police ambushed him, shooting him within seconds of approaching the van parked at the family’s home in Hillyard.

Spokane County Prosecutor Larry Haskell ruled last month that Police Cpl. Chris Johnson and Det. Trevor Walker fired in self-defense, and he declined to file charges against them.

Police Capt. Tracie Meidl said Thursday that Bradley can clearly be seen in a shooting stance as officers confront him. Investigators from the Washington State Patrol found that one of Johnson’s bullets was fired into the barrel of Bradley’s gun.

Bradley did not fire his weapon, Meidl said.

In addition to the officers’ body camera footage, police released footage from a surveillance camera mounted on Bradley’s home. Meidl said the footage shows Bradley reaching for his handgun again after being shot the first time.

The Bradley family’s attorney, Rondi Thorp, has argued in court filings and interviews that police escalated the situation by confronting Bradley with guns drawn.

“What is clear in this case, is that Spokane Police arrived at the Bradley home and within three seconds of announcing their presence shot Robert Bradley nine times,” Thorp wrote in a statement.

Thorp said Bradley’s family, especially his children, were upset they were not notified by police that the footage would be released Thursday or when the prosecutor announced his decision not to charge the officers.

“This has contributed to the children’s suffering and not allowed them to prepare for when this case would be in the media,” Thorp wrote.

An attorney from Thorp’s firm was also denied access to the press conference where police released the footage, she said.

Thorp said ultimately a jury in a civil trial will determine the credibility of the officers saying they saw Bradley point a gun at them.

“A civil trial is different from a criminal trial, since we know these officers will not be held accountable criminally, all we can see is money damages in the hopes that we can convince the city of Spokane and its police that they need to do better,” Thorp wrote.