Family of Harry Smith Frustrated that APD Officers are Cleared
The son of Harry Smith is frustrated that the officers responsible for his father's death wont be prosecuted
ANCHORAGE – It is a nightmare on replay for Russell Smith, who said the death of his father, 59-year-old Harry Smith, never leaves his mind.
“It's on a reel that rewinds every second of every day,” said Smith.
Smith, 36, said he’s angry the Anchorage police officers, Michael Jones and Bryan Heinz, who shot and killed his father, will not be prosecuted, after an independent investigation by the State Office of Special Prosecutions found the use of deadly force was justified.
"There’s absolutely no way to justify what happened - they can do all the investigations they want, they can tell all the lies they want, but there's nothing that'll ever justify what happened,” said Smith.
Russell Smith called 911 on July 1 after his father threatened to kill himself and harm others.
Smith said his father struggled with alcohol abuse, and mental health issues and he was hoping the police would be able to take his father to get help.
“I remember very specifically the conversation I had with the police officers,” said Smith.
Smith said he told the responding officers his father might have a BB gun.
“At one point the officers asked me if it was a rifle style BB gun or a hand gun style BB gun and at that point I described it in detail," he said.
Smith is angry the Anchorage police officers who shot and killed his father will not be prosecuted.
"With all the incidents that have been happening it feels like the APD are not taking their oath to protect and serve very seriously,” said Smith.
Anchorage police shot and killed Harry Smith in his backyard after they said he pointed a Smith & Wesson M&P .177 caliber airgun at officers.
Clint Campion with the Office of Special Prosecutions and Appeals said he made the determination that no criminal charges will be brought against the officers involved in that shooting.
"The analysis that I conduct generally is guided by Alaska law, both the statues and the case law supporting it, so that's what I look at to determine whether the officers' use of force is justified," said Campion.
Campion said he reviewed all of the evidence and interviews from the police investigation.