BCI Investigations of Officer-Involved Shootings Submitted to Franklin County Prosecuting Attorney



(COLUMBUS, Ohio) — Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost today announced that the Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI) has referred two Central Ohio investigations regarding two fatal officer-involved critical incidents to the Franklin County Prosecuting Attorney.

BCI is notifying the public of the advancement of these cases in an effort to be as transparent as permissible under the law, respecting the competing needs for legal due process.

BCI investigations into officer-involved critical incidents seek the facts and circumstances of each incident and do not include any determinations of fault. The legality of the actions involved will be determined by the prosecutor and/or grand jury.

BCI Case # 2021-0584

On March 8, 2021, a fatal officer-involved critical incident occurred on northbound Interstate 270 on the Walnut Creek Bridge involving Andrew Teague and law enforcement officers from the Columbus Division of Police and the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office.

BCI’s investigation included, but was not limited to, the following investigative activities in an effort to thoroughly and accurately locate and document all pertinent facts and circumstances regarding the incident:

  • Processing the crime scene for potential evidence, including photographing, searching, measuring, documenting and collecting evidence.
  • Interviewing 19 civilian witnesses and nine law enforcement officers.
  • Analyzing in the laboratory 18 items, including firearms, bullet casings and projectiles.
  • Reviewing available camera footage of the incident from body cameras, dash cameras, helicopter footage and witness cellphone cameras.
  • Evaluating training and personnel records of the involved officers.

BCI Case #2021-0957

On April 21, 2021, a fatal officer-involved critical incident occurred at 3171 Legion Lane involving Ma’Khia Bryant and a law enforcement officer from the Columbus Division of Police.

BCI’s investigation included, but was not limited to, the following investigative activities in an effort to thoroughly and accurately locate and document all pertinent facts and circumstances regarding the incident:

  • Processing the crime scene for potential evidence, including photographing, searching, measuring, documenting and collecting evidence.
  • Interviewing 15 civilian witnesses and three law enforcement officers.
  • Reviewing all available camera footage of the incident, including from body cameras, dash cameras and surveillance video that captured any portion of the incident.
  • Processing the involved vehicle(s) for potential evidence.
  • Reviewing audio communications, 911/phone communications and dispatch/CAD records pertaining to the incident.
  • Analyzing available cellphone and telephone records.
  • Analyzing in the laboratory seven items, including firearms, bullet casings and projectiles.

The investigations have been referred to Franklin County Prosecuting Attorney Gary Tyack’s office. Additional investigative work may be completed by BCI at the direction of the prosecutor.

How the Process Works

BCI investigates potential crimes when asked to do so by a requesting law enforcement agency or prosecutor. These two investigations were conducted pursuant to a memorandum of understanding between the Columbus Division of Police and BCI, which was executed on Aug. 20, 2012.

After the investigation is completed, the investigative report is provided to the prosecutor’s office and, with the prosecutor’s approval, to the requesting agency. Those entities may then use the investigation to determine the appropriateness of the officer’s actions.

As a fact-finding agency, BCI does not determine whether a use of force was legally justified. BCI does not make recommendations regarding charges and/or the appropriateness of the use of force – those decisions rest solely with the prosecuting attorney and/or grand jury.

Additionally, BCI’s investigations are not administrative. BCI’s investigations do not address any potential policy or procedural violations. BCI is not involved in any decisions pertaining to internal discipline or return to work.

At the conclusion of the court process and when the case is deemed closed, BCI’s investigation (or portions thereof) may be subject to public release under the Ohio Sunshine Laws.

Both Central Ohio investigations were conducted by BCI’s Special Investigations Unit and Crime Scene Unit. In 2021, BCI has been requested to conduct 41 investigations into officer-involved critical incidents.

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