Kansas City officers not charged in fatal shooting

Friday, September 7, 2001

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Two police officers won't be charged in the death of a man who came toward them wielding a measuring tool, Clay County Prosecutor Don Norris says.

Norris made the announcement Wednesday after a Clay County grand jury decided not to indict the police officers in the Aug. 13 death of Phillip E. Pankey, 46.

Police said the two officers shot Pankey in his yard about six miles north of downtown Kansas City. Pankey was carrying a machinist's caliper, which is a sharp measuring tool. Officers said they were at the residence because Pankey had threatened his girlfriend, who also lived at the house.

In a letter to Kansas City Police Chief Rick Easley, Norris said, "I believe your officers acted to preserve their safety and the lives and safety of others ... That Mr. Pankey refused to comply with the officers' requests is tragic, but these fatal consequences are the result of his own actions."

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