Criminal Deputy Troy Brightbill with the Cowlitz County Sheriff’s Office has been assigned as the team commander
Investigators from the Southwest Washington Independent Investigations Response Team (SWIIRT), with assistance from the Lower Columbia Major Crimes Team, are actively investigating the circumstances that led to the officer-involved shooting that resulted in the death of Kevin E. Peterson Jr.
According to a release from the SWIIRT team Tuesday, “investigations of this magnitude take time to ensure every aspect is thoroughly reviewed for an accurate account of the incident.’’
In what was stated to be an effort to achieve increased independence in the investigation team, Clark County Prosecutor Tony Golik has requested Lower Columbia Major Crimes Team members assume the team commander and lead investigator roles for this investigation. Chief Criminal Deputy Troy Brightbill with the Cowlitz County Sheriff’s Office has been assigned as the team commander. Detective Ralph Webb with the Longview Police Department has been assigned as the lead investigator. Detective Sergeant Scott Boyles with Camas Police Department will be the team leader.
When reached by Clark County Today, Golik confirmed that the Cowlitz County officials have agreed to accept those roles.
“I did suggest, or request, that for increased independence, that an outside county take that lead role in the investigation,’’ Golik said. “That’s purely the position I continue to take on these investigations. The more independence I can establish in an investigation, and/or review, the more confidence the public will have in the eventual outcome.’’
Earlier this year, Golik assigned the review of the officer-involved shooting of Vancouver resident William Abbe to the Thurston County Prosecutor’s Office.
Golik said in the investigation into the officer-involved shooting of Peterson, both the Clark County Sheriff’s Office and Vancouver Police Department are too closely involved for one to investigate or review the other.
“Unfortunately, when you have a situation like this, when the two largest agencies are involved, and because this process is new, it takes some time for the other smaller agencies to stand up their protocol,’’ Golik said, referring to other Clark County law enforcement agencies, such as the Camas and Battle Ground police departments.
Detective Sergeant Marc Langlois with Longview Police Department will be serving as public information officer and can be reached at (360) 442-5810 or email@example.com
If anyone has information about this incident, they are asked to please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Information in this report provided by the city of Battle Ground.