Investigate and Prosecute Police Officers Involved in Fatal Civilian Shooting

Target: Vernon Stewartt, Harnett County District Attorney

Goal: Take over investigation of allegedly shooting from police agencies and prosecute officers involved.

Earlier this week, officers knocked on the door of John Livingston’s Spring Lake home and requested admittance to search for someone who no longer lived on the premises. Livingston refused and requested officers obtain a warrant. According to both of Livingston’s roommates who witnessed the ensuing altercation, police responded with unnecessary force, shoving the door open and tossing Livingston on the ground.

The witnesses also indicate the officers then proceeded to beat him and the tussle spilled out onto the porch where Livingston was pepper sprayed and tasered multiple times. As he lay on the ground in horrible pain from this brutal use of force, his hand rested on one of the officer’s taser guns. The officer, rather than remove the taser from Livingston’s reach, felt so threatened by the already subdued Livingston that the office shot Livingston between four and six times.

Friends and family describe Livingston as a hardworking carpenter and loving father of three. The officers have been put on administrative leave per protocol and the Sherriff’s Office is cooperating with State Bureau investigators. Upon completion of the investigation, a report will be provided to the District Attorney’s (DA) office. However, the DA has the option to intervene earlier and be closely involved in the investigation.

Tell the DA his office must exercise this option to prevent a police cover up and ensure the officers involved are permanently removed from duty and prosecuted expediently.


Dear Attorney Stewartt,

No law-abiding citizen deserves to be brutalized and shot in his own home. Yet, in a recent incident it appears that is exactly what happened. When carpenter and father of three John Livingston opened the door to police officers requesting access to his home to search for someone who no longer lived at the address, Livingston requested they obtain a warrant, as is legally his right.

Rather than follow the law and seek a warrant per Livingston’s request, witnesses state that officers forced their way in the home, threw Livingston to the floor and proceeded to severely beat him. As the altercation spilled out on to the porch, witnesses tell a horrifying tale of Livingston being pepper sprayed and hit with multiple taser gun strikes.

While Livingston lay on his stomach on the porch with his arms behind him accessible for the officers to place him in handcuffs, one of his hands also happened to rest on an officer’s taser gun. Instead of placing Livingston in handcuffs and moving the taser gun from his reach, the officer shot Livingston multiple times.

We demand the District Attorney’s office immerse themselves in the current police investigation of this incident to ensure there is no opportunity for cover up and that criminal charges be filed against the officers involved in timely manner.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Junglecat

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