UPDATE (6:00 p.m.): The Baldwin County Major Crimes Unit released more details in reference to the ruling in the shooting of Otis French Jr. in August 2022.
“After a careful and thorough analysis, the Alabama Attorney General’s Office determined that insufficient evidence exists to establish probable cause that the officer committed a crime,” reads the release. “Their review determined that the officer was in the lawful performance of his duties and responded with a reasonable amount of force under the circumstances.”
MCU said officials within the unit recently met with members of the French family “who were accompanied by their family attorney.”
During the meetings, “detailed information” about the investigation was provided to the family.
“The Baldwin County Major Crimes Unit made this decision after the Alabama Attorney General’s Office reviewed evidence from our investigation,” reads the release. “They did not establish probable cause that the police officer involved in this incident committed an offense.”
Prosecutors with the Alabama Attorney General’s Office reviewed all of the evidence throughout the investigation to determine “whether the police officer violated Alabama law.”
Police reports, law enforcement accounts, witness statements, dispatch logs, physical evidence, photographs and videos of the incident were reviewed by prosecutors.
The release from the Baldwin County Major Crimes Unit also recognized “the tragic loss of life and offers condolences to the French family as they continue to grieve.”
They have been very patient and trusting in our process and we thank them for their cooperation in this matter. After discussing the case with Otis French, Jr.’s family the Baldwin County Major Crimes Unit will not be releasing any evidence or any more details of the incident at their request.Baldwin County Major Crimes Unit
BAY MINETTE, Ala. (WKRG) — The case is closed on a police shooting of a Bay Minette man last summer. WKRG News 5 has confirmed the investigation into the police shooting of Otis French, Jr. by a Bay Minette Police officer last August has been completed.
According to sources close to the investigation, no wrongdoing was found. The shooting we are told was deemed justified.
The officer involved has never been publicly identified, nor have specifics of the investigation from the Baldwin County Major Crimes Unit or the Alabama Attorney General’s Office, which reviewed the case, been made public.
In August 2022, Otis French Jr. was pulled over for a minor traffic violation. The initial investigation indicated French assaulted the officer, grabbed his taser, and used it against the officer before being shot and killed.
In the more than seven months since French was killed, there have been marches and constant pressure on officials with the city and investigators to release the body cam footage of the shooting. That has not happened.
The officer involved was placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation. As of February of this year, that officer was not performing any patrol duty in the city, according to the Mayor’s office.
In the weeks since the case was closed the French family, city leaders and investigators have met several times. The French family has retained an attorney.