Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Police Shooting Story Told

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Police Shooting Story Told

Article excerpt

Shirley June Ansley's boss called Jacksonville police for help

after she walked into work late Wednesday afternoon, rambling

and incoherent while strumming a stringless guitar and singing.

"It was apparent to me she had a mental problem, and [I]

thought the police should know," said John Nail, vice president

of Yarbrough Corp Security.

A police officer arrived but Ansley fled.

A short time later, Ansley, a 56-year-old security guard, was

shot four times in the chest and killed after she turned her van

toward police and accelerated.

The mentally ill woman was unarmed. This was the third time

that police had been called this week because of her erratic

behavior.

Yesterday, the president of Jacksonville's Baptist Ministers

Conference called the shooting "unjustified" and said he plans

to meet with conference members Monday to discuss it.

"It's hard for me to believe his [police officer's] life was in

danger," said the Rev. Frederick Newbill of First Timothy

Baptist Church. "Why would you shoot at the person? There's

nothing that says a policeman should have fired shots into that

woman."

Sheriff Nat Glover wasn't available to respond to Newbill's

comments last night but said Thursday that Officer Terry E.

Shirley felt he was in danger and the force used was

appropriate.

Newbill said past experience and complaints lead him to believe

officers treat African-Americans differently than whites. Ansley

was black; Shirley is white.

"When it comes to blacks, we can't help but think it had

something to do with race," Newbill said. "It's hard for us not

to look at it with a suspicious eye."

Police involvement with Ansley this week began about 2:30 p.m.

Tuesday. Hours before her shift began, she showed up at

Prudential Insurance Co., 6611 Southpoint Parkway, where she was

assigned to work as a security guard.

Ansley "appeared irate and became loud, vulgar and threatening

toward some of the employees," a police report said. Then Ansley

threatened to burn and destroy the company's records and files,

police said. She left before an officer arrived.

About 2:30 p.m. Wednesday, officers stopped Ansley after she

nearly hit two vehicles near her brother-in-law's locksmith

business, her sister Lula Stevenson said. Officers gave him her

car keys and driver's license and asked him to take her home.

"They could have picked her up then," Stevenson said.

Police are looking for records of that incident.

About 6 p.m. Wednesday, Ansley walked into Yarbrough Corp

Securities at 8375 Dix Ellis Trail with her guitar, police said.

Nail said he planned to fire her because of her actions at

Prudential but, "because of her mental state, I didn't think it

was appropriate at the time." He talked with Ansley while

waiting for police.

"She always did a good job working for us," Nail said of

Ansley, who worked as an unarmed security guard for about a

year. "They all liked her and thought she was a very good

employee."

Police reports said the security company wanted Ansley to be

issued a trespassing citation, but when Officer Michael

Beard-Ojala arrived and tried to talk to her, she rolled up the

window of her van. Police said he tried again at the passenger

window; this time she sped out of the parking lot.

Assistant Chief George Lueders said Ansley wasn't taken into

custody for her mental health because she wasn't a threat to

herself or others and wasn't damaging property. …

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