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D.C. police will not fire detective involved in shooting

By Del Quentin Wilber
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, November 29, 2009 4:36 PM

D.C. police officials will not seek to fire a detective who shot and killed a 25-year-old man after a struggle in August 2007, an attorney for the D.C. police union said Sunday.

The department notified the lawyer Wednesday afternoon that police officials were dropping administrative charges against the detective, Kevin McConnell, 45. Federal authorities declined to prosecute McConnell in the shooting death of Jason L. Taft outside a Southeast Washington carry-out restaurant Aug. 3, 2007. A federal civil jury, weighing a lawsuit brought by the dead man's family, sided with the officer Nov. 19. D.C. police officials, however, had concerns about the officer's conduct. Internal affairs officials wrote in reports that McConnell did not have pepper spray, as he was required to, and was not threatened at the time he fired the fatal shot.

The union lawyer, James W. Pressler Jr., said the department notified him in a letter Wednesday that it was dropping its administrative charges. That means McConnell will not face an internal trial board or the threat of losing his job. "He has been exonerated," Pressler said.

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