PAWTUCKET, R.I. (WPRI) — Pawtucket police released new details Monday on a fatal officer-involved shooting amid calls for more information from the local chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).
Last Friday morning, DaShawn Cole was shot and killed by police in the area of Newport Avenue. Police said responding officers performed life-saving measures on Cole, 28, before rescue personnel rushed him to Rhode Island Hospital where he died as a result of his wounds.
Police on Monday identified the three officers involved as Ana Vertentes, William Briggs and Dianne Rittman-McLaughlin.
Police said they received a call just after 6 a.m. on Sept. 7 about a man with a firearm on Cottage Street. Officer Vertentes approached a man matching the given description on Newport Avenue – later identified as Cole – and he “immediately attacked her,” according to police.
A struggle ensued, police said, during which Vertentes’s firearm was discharged. Briggs and Rittman-McLaughlin then arrived and were confronted by Cole, who was still armed, and both officers opened fire on the suspect.
Earlier on Monday, the ACLU called on Pawtucket police to release more information on the shooting, noting that “basic information” was missing, such as the names of the officers involved, how many shots were fired, the threat faced by police, and whether Cole fired any shots at the officers.
There have been 14 incidents of deadly police shootings in RI since 2006. Of those, HALF (7 of the 14) have been at the hands of one police department: Pawtucket. This is an alarming figure. Our statement on fatal police shooting of DaShawn Cole here: https://t.co/ZpM8eE4aah— ACLU of Rhode Island (@RIACLU) September 10, 2018
“We assume – we hope – that this and related information will be released shortly, but the contrast between the belated sharing of information by police during officer-involved shootings and the much more free-flowing disclosure of information when serious civilian-upon-civilian crimes occur remains striking and totally unacceptable,” the ACLU said in a statement.
The police department responded to the ACLU’s request, saying a thorough investigation is being completed and the information will be released at the appropriate time.
“Please rest assured that more information regarding the shooting will be forthcoming, and that it will be as transparent as possible as the investigation continues and ultimately comes to conclusion,” the department said.
The department noted that Officer Vertentes was hired July 18, 2016, while Officers Rittman-McLaughlin and Briggs were hired on March 15, 2010.
Rhode Island State Police and the Attorney General’s office are also investigating the incident in conjunction with Pawtucket police.