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Rock Island officers' use of deadly force found justified in October shooting

Four officers involved in a deadly exchange of gunfire have been found justified.

ROCK ISLAND, Ill. — Four officers involved in a deadly exchange of gunfire have been found justified.

The decision came from the Rock Island County State's Attorney on Friday, November 20, about a month after the incident happened. 

Previous reports indicate that late in the day on Friday, October 16, police in Rock Island were called to a domestic disturbance. Police said the suspect involved left the scene in a car. When a traffic stop was attempted, 27-year-old Akbar Eaddy "fled in his vehicle after an arrest was attempted." 

Shortly after, police found the vehicle again but Eaddy fled on foot, said police. 

As officers set up a perimeter, police say Eaddy fired at them. There was a chase and an exchange of gunfire, which killed Eaddy.

The Rock Island County Integrity Task Force wrapped up an investigation in early November and turned in their findings to the state's attorney's office.  

"I have determined that all four officers were justified in their use of deadly force, in the discharge of their duty weapons, in their encounter with Akbar Eaddy..." read a statement from the state's attorney. "There will not be any charges filed against any of the four officers." 

Read the full decision below: 

"I conducted a review of the Rock Island County Integrity Task Force Investigation involving Akbar Eaddy and Rock Island Police Officers Costas, Lawler, May and Zier. I have determined that all four officers were justified in their use of deadly force, in the discharge of their duty weapons, in their encounter with Akbar Eaddy in the early morning of October 17, 2020 in the City of Rock Island, Illinois. There will not be any charges filed against any of the four officers. 

This incident began on Friday, October 16, 2020 at approximately 11:50 p.m., when Rock Island Police responded to a 911 call for a domestic battery involving a male battering a female. Officers arrived at a residence on the 2400 block of 6th Avenue in Rock Island, Illinois and made contact with a pregnant female who had visible bruising and bleeding on her face. The suspect in the battery was identified as Akbar Eaddy, 27, and had left the scene driving in a vehicle which was subsequently stopped in the area of 24th Street and 7th Avenue.

Mr. Eaddy had stopped and spoke with Rock Island officers who were each wearing department issued body worn camera. Eaddy was observed in the driver’s seat wearing light grey clothing and his vehicle was occupied by an adult male passenger in the front and a minor child in the backseat of his vehicle. After a few minutes, Mr. Eaddy abruptly fled from the stop, almost clipping the officer standing next to his vehicle. His vehicle was quickly located near 13th Avenue and 22nd Street with no occupants. 

Officers were attempting to locate Eaddy and on foot and by squad vehicle when shots were fired at them. More officers arrived to the area, all wearing department-issued body worn camera, and ran down the streets looking for the suspect. The suspected shooter was identified as Akbar Eaddy, who had just fled from the nearby abandoned vehicle. A witness also confirmed that Eaddy pulled out a black pistol from his vehicle and loaded it prior to running out of his car. 

Multiple officers observed Eaddy running through the nearby streets known as “Broadway District” shooting a weapon towards them. Officers yelled multiple commands to “stop,” “put the gun down,” “hands down,” “get down,” which was confirms (sic) by several neighborhood witnesses. 

Officers found Eaddy against a fence between two houses and again repeated multiple commands for him to drop his hands and get to the ground. Eaddy instead aimed a weapon with his right arm towards officers, who then fired. Eaddy is seen bending down, but then stands back up and holds both arms straight out aiming at officers, who discharge again and Eaddy falls to the ground. On the ground, Eaddy is still seen moving one arm towards officers, who continue to yell verbal commands to put gun down. Final shots are fired by officers. 

Officers slowly approach Eaddy and observe he is holding one firearm in each hand. The firearms are immediately secured and chest compressions are given until EMS arrived on the scene. The discharge of firearms by officers was captured both on body worn camera and private residence surveillance recording. 

Officers Costas, Lawler, May and Zier used their training and experience to respond to the rapidly evolving situation involving a firearm being pointed at them and other officers. Eaddy was a danger to Officers Costas, Lawler, May, Zier, other officers present and to the Broadway District neighborhood throughout where Eaddy was firing the weapon(s) he was carrying. Eaddy was not legally carrying loaded weapons, nor did he have any justifiable reason to be shooting at any Officers or in the Broadway District. The weapons in his possession were semiautomatic pistols and approximately 11 spent casings were found throughout the large crime scene attributable to Eaddy, both .32 and 9mm. All four officers who discharged their duty weapons carried 40 caliber handguns. Eaddy was hit by six separate gunshots which ultimately caused his death. 

A police officer has the right to use force he reasonably believes is necessary to effectuate an arrest under 720 ILCS 5/7-4. An officer may use deadly force against a person using a deadly weapon that is resisting arrest or is attempting to escape by use of deadly (720ILCS 5/7-5(1)). An officer may also use deadly force in the defense of himself or others against imminent death or great bodily harm (720 ILCS 5/7-5). 

Reasonable force has been described as the minimum amount of force necessary given the circumstances of each situation. The circumstances of each situation include: presence of weapons, likelihood of continuing danger and presence of bystanders, amongst other factors. 

Based on all of the circumstances and the specific facts outlined above, all four Rock Island Police Department Officers discharging their duty weapons was reasonable and justified in their encounter with Akbar Eaddy on October 17, 2020. 

The video and relevant case information was reviewed with the family of the deceased prior to this release.

 A link of audio and video has been attached via email. 

This concludes my review of the Integrity Task Force Investigation into this matter. 


Dora A. Villarreal"