Sister of Arundel man killed by police says 'he wasn't a monster'

Photo of Chad Dionne (courtesy: Chasity Dionne)

ARUNDEL (WGME) - A Norway woman says there's more to the story than what's been reported about her brother's death after an officer-involved shooting.

Chad Dionne was gunned down by two sheriff's deputies last May.

Chasity Dionne says she wants the public to know more about her brother and what happened.

"I re-live it every day, every day. He didn't deserve this; he really didn't, she said.

Dionne said her brother was a good guy who had a bad end to his life.

Dionne was shot and killed by York County Sheriff's deputies Memorial Day 2017.

"He was made out to be a monster and Chad wasn't a monster. You know he had his issues like everyone else," she said those issues included mental illness.

"He was in a crisis that night," she said.

According to police reports, Dionne was shot after deputies responded to a domestic disturbance at his home in Arundel.

The reports said there was an armed confrontation between deputies and Dionne, who had a gun.

"He was in the house; they woke him up. He was sleeping in his living room recliner when they arrived," she said.

Dionne's death is being investigated by the Maine Attorney General's Office, which is standard for officer-involved shootings.

CBS 13 has done extensive investigating and reporting on the issue.

According to the AG's office, every police involved shooting in Maine has been legally justified since the office started investigating them in 1995.

"Do you think police were justified in shooting and killing him?" CBS 13's Jon Chrisos asked Dionne.

"No. Will they be justified? Of course they will be," she said.

We discovered a spike in shootings involving police during the past few years.

Reports provided by the AG's office show since 2012 there have been 57 officer involved shootings; three of them in 2018.

Last December, Attorney General Janet Mills put together a task force to investigate the trend, calling the increase in shootings "dramatic."

While our investigations and reports are limited to whether the officer’s action violated the criminal law, the public interest suggests these events be analyzed further, along with the marked increase in other critical incidents in which the police ultimately did not use deadly force.
While we may observe anecdotally that mental health issues dominate these incidents, and that domestic violence, guns and drugs sometimes play a part, I invite you take part in a thorough review of these incidents so that we may form more accurate conclusions about why the incidents are occurring and whether we can prevent unnecessary deaths and injuries in the future. -Attorney General Janet Mills

Tim Feeley, a spokesperson for the Office of the Attorney General, said the task force has had two meetings and a third is scheduled for next month.

"We hope they will have a report later this fall. The task force has been collecting and reviewing information about incidents and hope to identify any patterns in the events that led up to the use of force," Feeley said.

Chasity Dionne hopes her brother's death will trigger more training for police

"I understand police have families and they have to protect themselves. Send a mental health professional; send someone who can talk them down," she said.

The National Alliance on Mental Illness Maine told CBS 13 it offers free training for law enforcement but departments have to being willing to sign up.

Since 2014, NAMI Maine said 800 Maine officers have been trained in mental health first aid.

The York County Sheriff Bill King didn't respond to an email asking if his deputies have received the training or if the two deputies involved are still with the department.

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