Photographer shot by deputy disputes warning claims
A news photographer accidentally shot by an Ohio deputy sheriff last year disputes the agency’s assertion in investigative reports that his presence at police scenes in the past was a problem.
A grand jury last month declined to indict Clark County Deputy Jacob Shaw for shooting Andy Grimm in September after mistaking the photographer’s tripod for a rifle.
Grimm survived the shooting. He has filed a federal civil-rights lawsuit against Shaw and the sheriff’s department. The suit seeks at least $75,000 in damages.
Two Clark County Sheriff’s Office sergeants and a deputy spoke of concerns about Grimm and his presence at police stops in interviews with investigators obtained by The Associated Press through a records request.
A sheriff’s office major and the sheriff herself also noted concerns they’d heard over the years about the photographer.
“Andy, what are you doing? I had my duty weapon out! You can’t run up on our cars!” Sgt. Robert Trimble told Grimm, according to Trimble’s interview with state investigators about an incident last spring.
Trimble told investigators he parked in a police-only parking lot about 10 p.m. at agency headquarters in Springfield, about 43 miles west of Columbus, when he saw an unfamiliar minivan. He was getting out of his car when a figure “quickly darted” in his direction. Trimble said he unholstered his weapon fearing an attack before recognizing Grimm.
Grimm and his father, who own KBA News LLC, a chain of weekly newspapers, say they have covered the sheriff’s agency and other police departments for years without problems and have received consistent praise. No one at the paper has ever been notified of a negative interaction with police or a situation where officers felt uncomfortable, they told the AP.