Denver police officer cleared in fatal shooting of bank robbery suspect
DENVER – A Denver police officer will not be charged after fatally shooting a suspect in April.
Dion Damon was shot and killed by Denver police officer Jeffrey Motz as an arrest warrant was being served. The shooting occurred near the Denver City and County Building on April 12.
In a report released Thursday, Denver District Attorney Mitch Morrissey said Motz was legally justified in using deadly force under the circumstances he faced.
“(Damon) decided to make it look like he was armed knowing full well what the response would be,” the report said.
Damon was accused of robbing The Bank of Denver at gunpoint, threatening three bank tellers and fleeing with more than $30,000 on March 17.
Detectives located Damon and called in the Denver police SWAT unit to make the arrest. Damon dropped off his wife and child at the courthouse before officers surrounded his car.
The report said officers told Damon multiple times to put up his hands, but he shook his head in refusal. Motz told investigators he believed Damon had a gun and suddenly raised his hands.
“There are a lot of instances in the law where if you simulate you have a weapon people can believe you have a weapon and this is one of those instances,” the report said.
The report said Damon did not have a gun, but the report said the way he raised his hands made officers believe he did.
“It’s very clear to us from the physical evidence of the way that Mr. Damon’s hands were positioned that played a huge role in the decision that we made,” the report said.
Damon was a convicted felon with multiple arrests and, according to the report, was a known gang member in Denver.
“Often times we see people like this that are desperate that are not going to want to go back to prison that are going to take steps that end up getting them killed,” the report said.