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Deadly force "justified" against airport director


LITTLE ROCK — Arkansas Sixth Judicial District Prosecuting Attorney Will Jones has released his office's findings regarding the use of deadly force against Bryan Malinowski. The attorney announced in a letter to Special Agent Joshua Jackson, of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), that an investigation has concluded that use of deadly force was justified and in accordance with the law.
53 year-old Malinowski was the executive director of Bill & Hillary Clinton National Airport in Little Rock. He was shot by an agent with the ATF on March 19, during the execution of a search warrant at his West Little Rock home, and died of his injuries days later.
The warrant followed a months long investigation. Malinowski was suspected of violating federal laws that prohibit unlicensed firearms sales and making false or misleading statements about the legality of such sales. According to Jones' letter to Jackson, the warrant was executed just after 6 a.m. on March 19 by ATF agents and a Task Force Officer, with the assistance of the Little Rock Police Department (LRPD).
The letter also includes a summary of witness statements that describes the events which lead up to the deadly shooting. The summary states that agents used a battering ram on the door after knocking and announcing their presence, and that agents were dressed in clearly marked "ATF POLICE" attire.
The summary then details an agent (Agent 1) entering the residence first to see Malinowski pointing a handgun at him. A second agent (Agent 2) entered and saw Agent 1 on the ground — where he had dropped to avoid gunfire, and Malinowski firing downward at Agent 1. Agent 2 was struck in the foot and then returned fire on Malinowski.
A mobile video recorder belonging to LRPD captured the events as they unfolded.
6:02:58 a.m. The Little Rock patrol officer employed his vehicle’s emergency lights and siren to announce the presence of law enforcement.
6:02:59 a.m. ATF agents begin a series of knocking and announcing ATF presence.
6:03:27 a.m. Agents use a [battering] ram to breach the door.
6:03:43 a.m. Malinowski fires the first of four shots from his [handgun].
6:03:44 a.m. ATF agent returns fire; discharging three shots from his agency issued M4.
Bud Cummins — attorney for Malinowski's family, issued a statement in response to the prosecuting attorney. Cummins questioned the state's investigation in his response, declaring that they overlooked a matter of "grave concern" — whether the ATF violated the law when they broke down the front door of the Malinowski home.
"Ten carloads of armed agents at 6 a.m. A US citizen was given 28 seconds before his home was forcefully invaded by armed government intruders and he was killed in front of his wife," wrote Cummins. "This is far from over," he stated.
Cummins testified in front of a US House subcommittee in May. In that testimony, he expressed his belief that Malinowski's death was the result of federal law enforcement's "outrageous and unjustifiable abuse of power."