Fatal officer-involved shooting justified

An unarmed 26-year-old Strathmore woman, Jennifer Lynn LeBlanc, was fatally shot by a Lindsay Police Officer during a drug raid last Oct. 12.

Procedure in this type of situation is for the Tulare County District Attorney's Office to review the incident and give their findings back to the police department.

On Dec. 24 the Lindsay Police Department was notified by the district attorney's office that the fatal officer-involved shooting was justified. They stated that no charges shall be brought against the involved officer, Sgt. Richard Wilkinson.

Lt. Tim Brown of the Lindsay Police Department said, "Sgt. Wilkinson has been temporarily assigned to administrative duties pending the completion of the department's internal administrative review of the shooting incident, to see if he was within department policy." Brown said, because of the holidays, the review would not be completed for another week or two.

Wilkinson, 31, is a nine-year law enforcement veteran. He began his career as a reserve police officer with the Porterville Police Department in 1994. He joined the Lindsay Police Department in 1996 where he served as a patrol officer, narcotics investigator and field training officer until he left for a position with the Tulare County Sheriff's Department in 1999. At the sheriffs department Wilkinson served as a patrol deputy, a member of the SWAT team, a member of the STEP (Sheriff's Tactical Enforcement Personnel) team, and performed various other assignments including narcotics investigations.

In December 2002 Wilkinson rejoined the Lindsay Police Department as a patrol sergeant and the department supervising narcotics investigator.

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