Internal Police Review Finds State College Shooting Of Osaze Osagie Justified

Aug 20, 2019


The State College Police Department released an internal review on Monday regarding the police shooting of Osaze Osagie. 

The police department’s Internal Review Board said the three officers who responded to a mental health check on Osagie “acted within policy.” 

The 29-year-old Osagie was African-American with a history of mental illness and was believed to be off his medication. His father contacted police after Osagie sent text messages making him concerned that Osagie may be suicidal. The review said the officer fatally shot Osagie in self-defense as he charged police with a knife.

At a public forum Tuesday, members of the community expressed doubt over the credibility of an internal review.

“How do we know these departmental procedures were actually effective when it’s the police officers themselves who were doing the investigations?” one attendee asked.  

State College Borough Manager Tom Fountaine and Police Chief John Gardener responded that the internal review aligned with the findings of the external investigations done by the State Police and the Centre County District Attorney’s office.

About two dozen people attended the forum on Tuesday. Some of them pointed out that the public was given less than 24 hours notice since the review was published. Fountaine promised another follow-up forum will be planned to continue the discussion. 

The police officer who shot Osagie is expected to return to active duty soon, pending a medical review. The other two officers have been back on full duty since May.

The borough also announced it will spend $200,000 to establish a mental health task force, hire an outside consultant to review police policies and create a racial equity plan.