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Jun 18, 2014 7:08 PM by Kari Beal

Man found not guilty of resisting Pineville police officers with a knife

A Rapides Parish judge found a man not guilty of resisting Pineville police officers with a knife because she says the man was "seeking suicide by cop."

Newly released surveillance video from 2012 in a patrol car showed Carter Rhodes running at a Pineville police officer with a knife. As seen in the video, Officer Spencer Brister asked him twice to put down the knife, and after Rhodes refuses to comply, Brister shot him in the pelvis.

Rhodes was later charged for resisting an officer with force and violence, to which he issued a double plea of not guilty and not guilty by reason of insanity. Rhodes also waived his rights to a jury trial. On June 10, 2014 a Rapides Parish judge found Rhodes not guilty.

Rapides Parish Judge Patricia Koch, in an attempt to explain written reasons for her not-guilty verdict, provided a nine-page written report in which she cited events leading up to and following the incident.

The report addressed statements in 2012 by the Rhodes' family, who said he had demonstrated "suicidal behavior" and had expressed a "desire to have the police officers kill him." According to the report, the family filed an Order of Protective Custody (OPC) and asked that he be placed in a mental facility. The report mentioned that Pineville police officers then were told to be on the look-out for Rhodes after the family could not locate him. The report said that two officers located Rhodes wandering on Highway 28 East on April 10, 2012. The report notes that when Rhodes approached with a knife, Officer Brister shot him and then transported him to a local hospital.

It was at that point that "he (Rhodes) gave a statement to the Officer Blake that he wanted the police to shoot him because he wanted to die," the report read.

Koch said she arrived to the not-guilty verdict because Rhodes' action "was not an effort to resist those officers with force or violence, but were for his own purposes of seeking suicide by cop."

Pineville Police Chief Donald Weatherford released this statement to KALB.

"We at the Pineville Police Department were disappointed in the ruling handed down recently in the Carter Rhodes criminal trial. Although the judge did not find in favor of a conviction, in her decision, she acknowledges the dangerous situation the officer was placed in and does not question his actions. The video evidence confirms the threat our officer faced. The Pineville Police Department stands by the decision our officer made in light of the lethal threat he was facing and are confident it was a reasonable response to the aggressor, Mr. Rhodes," Weatherford said.A Rapides Parish judge found a man not guilty of resisting Pineville police officers with a knife because she says the man was "seeking suicide by cop."

Newly released surveillance video from 2012 in a patrol car showed Carter Rhodes running at a Pineville police officer with a knife. As seen in the video, Officer Spencer Brister asked him twice to put down the knife, and after Rhodes refuses to comply, Brister shot him in the pelvis.

Rhodes was later charged for resisting an officer with force and violence, to which he issued a double plea of not guilty and not guilty by reason of insanity. Rhodes also waived his rights to a jury trial. On June 10, 2014 a Rapides Parish judge found Rhodes not guilty.

Rapides Parish Judge Patricia Koch, in an attempt to explain written reasons for her not-guilty verdict, provided a nine-page written report in which she cited events leading up to and following the incident.

The report addressed statements in 2012 by the Rhodes' family, who said he had demonstrated "suicidal behavior" and had expressed a "desire to have the police officers kill him." According to the report, the family filed an Order of Protective Custody (OPC) and asked that he be placed in a mental facility. The report mentioned that Pineville police officers then were told to be on the look-out for Rhodes after the family could not locate him. The report said that two officers located Rhodes wandering on Highway 28 East on April 10, 2012. The report notes that when Rhodes approached with a knife, Officer Brister shot him and then transported him to a local hospital.

It was at that point that "he (Rhodes) gave a statement to the Officer Blake that he wanted the police to shoot him because he wanted to die," the report read.

Koch said she arrived to the not-guilty verdict because Rhodes' action "was not an effort to resist those officers with force or violence, but were for his own purposes of seeking suicide by cop."

Pineville Police Chief Donald Weatherford released this statement to KALB.

"We at the Pineville Police Department were disappointed in the ruling handed down recently in the Carter Rhodes criminal trial. Although the judge did not find in favor of a conviction, in her decision, she acknowledges the dangerous situation the officer was placed in and does not question his actions. The video evidence confirms the threat our officer faced. The Pineville Police Department stands by the decision our officer made in light of the lethal threat he was facing and are confident it was a reasonable response to the aggressor, Mr. Rhodes," Weatherford said.

View full report by the Judge here.

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