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Family seeks to reopen 2017 case of a St. Joseph police officer involved shooting

Now three years later, Mayor Bill McMurray said the case is worth revisiting, "I said, ‘Well, I don’t want to give you expectations I can’t deliver on, but I will call the prosecutor and see if he will meet with you,’ and he’s agreed to do that.”

Posted: Jun 25, 2020 8:00 AM
Updated: Jun 25, 2020 9:07 AM

(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) Police brutality protests are re-sparking interest in old cases like the case of Jason Fanning, who was shot and killed by a former St. Joseph police officer in 2017. 

The Fanning family gathered in front of City Hall Wednesday morning, protesting the results of the case.

“Something needs to be done. We want him put in jail,” said Jason Fanning's sister, Heater Nordin. 

Records show the former officer, Justin Bever, fired eight shots at Fanning during an altercation at a traffic stop.

At the time, prosecutors determined Bever's use of lethal force was justified and no charges were brought against Bever.

The Fanning family has never agreed with that decision. 

“He put his hands in the air and he shot my brother. He shot him eight times and he got him seven times. His chest was completely blown out and at the funeral, he had a piece of cardboard for his chest,” said Jason Fanning's sister, Teirney Johnson. 

Now three years later, Mayor Bill McMurray said the case is worth revisiting, "I said, ‘Well, I don’t want to give you expectations I can’t deliver on, but I will call the prosecutor and see if he will meet with you,’ and he’s agreed to do that.”

McMurray said this second look at the case is unconventional, "We don’t generally take another look at a former prosecutor’s decision. You know, I think if there’s new evidence it merits taking a look at it."

The Fanning family hopes new eyes on the case bring about a different outcome. 

“We actually got somebody to listen to us finally after three years of just everybody throwing us off and ignoring us. My mom is losing her mind, trying to figure something out because it’s not right what he did to my brother,” said Teirney Johnson. 

Mayor McMurray said during his phone call with Buchanan County prosecutor Ron Holliday, Holliday said he's going to schedule a meeting with the Fanning family next week. 

The Fanning family received $450,000 as apart of a wrongful death lawsuit associated with the case. 

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Tuesday we had overcast skies for much of the day across northeast Kansas and northwest Missouri until the afternoon when we cleared out across the area. We will see a few more clouds late tonight into tomorrow morning then have lots of sunshine along with hot and humid conditions.
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