On May 29, 2018, Officer Ian McCann with the Lawrence Police Department was on patrol enforcing the seat belt law as part of the annual Click it or Ticket campaign.
At approximately 5:03 p.m., Officer McCann was traveling South on New Hampshire Street when he encountered an SUV driving north on New Hampshire. The SUV’s driver’s window was down and McCann observed the driver did not appear to be using a seat belt. McCann made a U-turn and initiated a traffic stop of the SUV in the 100 block of West 6th Street.
Officer McCann approached the SUV and explained to the driver that he was stopping him for a seat belt violation. The driver, later identified as Mr. Akira Lewis, refused to produce his identification. After approximately three minutes, Officer McCann requested additional assistance. While waiting for assistance, Officer McCann repeatedly explained that if Mr. Lewis would not cooperate he could be arrested.
Approximately one and a half minutes after the request for assistance, Officer Brindley Blood arrived on scene and took a position on the passenger’s side of the SUV. Officer McCann attempted to place Mr. Lewis under arrest by opening the driver’s door and physically removing him from the SUV. Mr. Lewis is alleged to have left the vehicle and started battering Officer McCann.
Officer Blood tried to intervene and during that intervention she discharged her weapon striking Mr. Lewis.
Due to the conflict created by Mr. Lewis being both a potential defendant and a victim of a crime, the Johnson County District Attorney’s Office was asked to review this matter for any potential charges against Mr. Lewis. It was the conclusion of the Johnson County District Attorney’s Office that Mr. Lewis be charged with battery against a law enforcement officer, interference with law enforcement - obstruction, no proof of insurance and failure to wear a seatbelt. A special prosecutor from the Johnson County District Attorney’s Office will handle Mr. Lewis’ case.
This office reviewed the actions of Officer Blood. Based upon the information contained in the investigative reports and all evidence available at the time, Officer Blood has been charged with reckless aggravated battery for the shooting of Mr. Lewis.
A summons has been issued for Mr. Lewis to appear in court on September 26, 2018 at 3:00 p.m.
A summons has been issued for Ms. Blood to appear in court on September 27, 2018 at 3:00 p.m.
No additional information is expected to be available until after Mr. Lewis and Ms. Blood appear in court.
All defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty. Charges are merely allegations of criminal conduct.
*Rule 226 - Kansas Rules of Professional Conduct
3.6 Advocate: Trial Publicity
3.8 Advocate: Special Responsibilities of a Prosecutor