Officer Cleared in Pepper Spray Incident

4-16-04 - A Lone Grove police officer who was shown on videotape pepper-spraying a DUI suspect last December will not be charged with a crime. After a six week investigation by the OSBI, District Attorney Mitch Sperry declined to file charges against officer David Childers.

Attorneys for Steve Ray Martin declined to comment today, but said in past interviews that the videotape showed Childers used excessive force.

The officer claims he used pepper spray because Martin was being combative and uncooperative, and was also refusing to return an ink pen to the officer. The incident happened in the Lone Grove police station, as Martin was going through the booking process.

Today, Sperry says after researching the investigation findings and the law, he found Childers did take the appropriate action. Sperry also consulted three different experts that deal with the use of force.

Childers was cleared by the city earlier this year, and is still on duty for the department.