No charges against officers in shooting death of Albert Lea man

No criminal charges will be filed against officers who shot and killed a man in Albert Lea earlier this year, Olmsted County Attorney Mark Ostrem said Friday.

Joseph Alan Roberts, 27, died from multiple gunshot wounds in January and three Albert Lea police officers were involved in the shooting, according to the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension. The BCA in January said Lt. Darin Palmer and Officer Jesus Cantu discharged their firearms and Officer Jason Taylor deployed a Taser and a chemical irritant.

Ostrem said the use of deadly force by Lt. Palmer and Officer Cantu was necessary to protect themselves.

"To bring charges against a police officer for using deadly force, the state must be able to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the officer's use of deadly force was not justified," he said in a news release. "The Olmsted County Attorney's Office concluded that evidence does not support bringing criminal charges against two law enforcement officials involved in the fatal shooting."

On Jan. 3, law enforcement was dispatched to a house where Roberts was allegedly engaged in disorderly conduct.

According to squad video and Ostrem's investigation, the officers chased and then tried to subdue Roberts with pepper spray and a Taser. When Roberts came toward Cantu swinging a large knife, Cantu discharged his weapon, but Roberts didn't stop, Ostrem said. Palmer then fired his gun at Roberts, who fell to the ground.

"Squad video collected during the investigation corroborates the accounts of the officers involved," Ostrem said.

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