KPD cleared of excessive force in June shooting, suspect indicted

Nick Shepherd • Aug 28, 2013 at 9:12 AM

A grand jury decided Tuesday that the Kingsport Police Department did not use excessive force in a June shooting.

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigations was called in to compile a report on the June 11 incident. The findings were presented as evidence to the grand jury Tuesday in the case of Jeffrey Chase Caldwell, 25.

The grand jury found that the KPD did not use excessive force and the officer who shot Caldwell, Joe Valentine, also did not use excessive force.

The grand jury also indicted Caldwell on simple assault for placing Valentine in reasonable fear of bodily injury. Simple assault is a misdemeanor.

“We’re pleased with the outcome,” said Deputy Chief Dale Phipps. “We were confident the grand jury would come back with non-excessive force.”

Caldwell was shot after running from officers onto the roof of a Kingsport home.

The incident began when Caldwell was being sought for violation of probation and failure to appear warrants. Officers received a tip that he was staying at his girlfriend’s parents' home on Watauga Street.

When officers arrived, Caldwell’s girlfriend, Kelly Gardner, allegedly claimed he wasn’t there. He then ran onto the roof of the home, stating he wouldn’t go back to jail and a standoff began.

Hours into negotiations, Caldwell made threatening gestures with an unspecified weapon, according to the KPD.

Caldwell was then shot in the abdomen and transported to the hospital. The KPD and TBI had previously declined to name the officer who fired the shot and still decline to name the weapon Caldwell had.

Caldwell’s parents have previously stated that their son was unarmed and that he held a roof shingle that officers thought was a weapon.

Gardner was charged with filing a false police report for lying about her boyfriend’s presence.

Caldwell is being held in Sullivan County without bond for violation of probation.

Previous stories:

Kingsport police probe Watauga Street shooting

Family of man shot by KPD says weapon was a roof shingle

KPD files no charges against man shot in standoff

Kingsport police shooting headed to grand jury

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