On January 27, 2022, 37-year-old Landon Eastep was shot and killed by multiple law enforcement officers on Interstate 65 in Nashville. Nine officers, including six Metro officers, two THP troopers and the off-duty Mt. Juliet officer, opened fire when Eastep pulled a “shiny silver cylindrical object” from his pocket that Metro police later reported was not a firearm.
Chelesy Eastep claims police used excessive force in the shooting death of her husband, according to the lawsuit.
On Friday, the Office of District Attorney General Glenn Funk issued a statement saying that no criminal charges will be filed against any of the law enforcement officers involved in the incident.
News 2 broke the news to Chelesy Eastep’s attorney, David McKenzie, while speaking with him about the lawsuit.
“I haven’t spoken to [Chelesy] yet about that. It’s news to me. You’re breaking it to me,” said David McKenzie. “That’s their prerogative. That’s their office. We’re operating out of the civil court system. The civil court system is going to be decided by somebody other than law enforcement. The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation may say that other law enforcement officers didn’t commit a crime. But that doesn’t mean that Mr. Eastep didn’t have his civil rights violated.”
McKenzie says the incident remains an open wound for Chelesy that is just not healing. “It’s unfortunate. There are so many questions that have been left unresolved. There are so many questions about what happened that day. We know the end of the story. The end of the story is that Mr. Eastep was killed in the middle of the road, in the middle of the day, and he was a young man, who had a lot to look forward to in life. And that’s unfortunately been cut short. We know the end of the story. What we don’t know is how it started. We don’t know what happened in the middle.”
McKenzie added, “The Tennessee Bureau investigation decided to release certain amounts of body camera footage, we were able to see that what we saw was disturbing. What we saw was nine police officers. They all had their guns drawn, there was an overt showing the force. And so that leaves to some real serious questions.”
The release from the DA’s office issued Friday states, “After a review of the TBI investigation, and in particular the body camera footage of the scene at the time of the shooting, District Attorney Glenn Funk has concluded that Landon Eastep’s actions were designed to cause officers to perceive an immediate threat and his actions did cause officers to reasonably perceive an immediate threat. Therefore, all shots fired were legally justified.”
In July, Eastep’s autopsy was released, revealing the 37-year-old had been shot 12 times.
Eight of the nine law enforcement officers involved in the shooting have returned to work. The Mount Juliet police officer left the profession following the incident.