Elsmere Officer David Byrd won't face charges in fatal shooting - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Elsmere officer won't face charges in fatal shooting


The Commonwealth Attorney says the Elsmere police officer who shot and killed a 21-year-old man will not face charges because his use of deadly force is believed to be justified.

Police say Officer David Byrd went to the Finish Line to investigate a report of an intoxicated driver or an underage drinker in June 2012. Police say while being questioned by Byrd, Michael Godawa backed over Byrd's patrol bike and then struck the officer while driving out of the parking lot.

During his attempts to flee, police say Godawa refused commands to stop his vehicle so Officer Byrd fired one shot.

Godawa crashed into a utility police at Lytle and Dixie. He was taken to U.C. where he was pronounced dead.

Byrd was wearing a camera on his lapel during the incident. Rob Sanders says after reviewing the video, he concluded that Byrd was justified in the use of deadly force because he was trying to protect himself. "There's no probably cause that a crime was committed on the part of Officer Byrd. That he was being subjected to deadly physical force byMr. Godawa when Mr. Godawa struck him with his own vehicle and Officer Byrd was justified in his use of deadly physical force in self defense in firing one shot back at Mr. Godawa as he was being struck by his vehicle," said Sanders.

Eric Deters, the attorney for the Godawa family, admits that Godawa should have obeyed the officers command. "Michael Godawa shouldn't drive drunk. Michael Godawa should obey the police officer's command. He should do all those things," said Deters. "He did not deserve to die."

Officer Byrd is a two and a half year veteran of the Elsmere Police Department. 

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