KIRO 7 reports that on July 9, Arkansas state police arrested an Alexander, Arkansas officer for manslaughter after he killed a colleague who knocked on his door last month.
- According to the arrest affidavit written by Arkansas State Police Criminal Investigation Division’s Special Agent Ryan Jacks, Officer Calvin Nicholas Salyers, who has been an Alexander police officer since 2017, had previously threatened to “shoot through the door” any protestors who came to his home.
- Jacks wrote that police training officer Sergeant Matt Wharton told Jacks that Salyers made the comment to him in late May or early June. Wharton said he then instructed Salyers that doing so would be reckless and negligent and that officers could not shoot anyone without first identifying the person and confirming there was a threat.
- It is not clear from the affidavit why Salyers thought protestors thought protestors might come to his home, though the timing of the comment coincides with the rise of violent demonstrations in the wake and mist of protests over the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
- The arrest affidavit states that after 7:00 PM on June 3, Hutton drove to Salyers’s residence and to pick up a patrol unit that was parked there. Salyers was inside watching a movie with his girlfriend Ashlee Cummings.
The affidavit continues,
When they heard the knock, Salyers told Cummings that he would see who it was and grabbed his Glock .40 caliber handgun and went to the door. According to his statement, he looked through the peep hole and saw a figure standing on his porch with a dark shirt and a gun on his hip. Salyers stated that he transferred his weapon from his right hand into his left hand and reached for the door knob and as he opened the door, the gun went off, firing a round through the front door. As Salyers opened the door, Hutton fell off the porch. According to Salyers’s statement he realized it was Hutton only after he fell from the porch.
Salyers called the incident an “accidental discharge,” but KIRO reports that “Evidence showed that Salyers had his Glock pressed against the door when he fired it.” Jacks wrote in the affidavit, “The most significant findings related to the bullet hole was there was evidence of close contact,” including “Powder burns” and a “ring of residue.”
- The day after the incident, the Alexander Police Department announced on its Facebook page that “Officer Scott Hutton was accidentally shot and killed by a fellow, off-duty, officer last night.”
- A GoFundMe page set up by the department for Hudson’s widow Brittany described his death as being “in the line of duty.”
- When state police made the arrest on July 9, Salyers turned himself in. He was booked in Saline County Jail with bail set at $15,000.
- State police accuse Salyers of “unlawfully” and “recklessly caus[ing] the death of Scott Hutton.”