Portsmouth grand jury declines to bring charges in police shooting



Posted on February 9, 2012 at 11:27 PM

Updated Thursday, Feb 9 at 11:39 PM

PORTSMOUTH – A grand jury Thursday took up the case of a police officer who fatally shot an unarmed man from Kazakh and decided not to return an indictment.

The decision ends the criminal investigation of the April 23rd shooting of Kirill Denyakin, 26, by Officer Stephen Rankin. According to the Commonwealth's Attornies office, a charge of voluntary manslaughter was presented.

The case was investigated by the State Police and reviewed by the Justice Department.

The family of a Denyakin is suing the police department for $22 million.

Kirill Denyakin, a Kazakh national, was shot April 23 as the officer investigated a burglary report on Green Street in Olde Towne.

Witnesses said the 26-year-old was intoxicated and was trying to get into the apartment building where he’d been staying.

According to the civil lawsuit that's been filed, Officer Stephen D. Rankin shot Denyankin, who was unarmed and the autopsy, he was struck 11 times.

“This is more than just a tragedy – its malicious, reckless and reprehensible conduct, and it never should have happened,” said attorney Carlton Bennett.

The lawsuit, filed against Officer Rankin, seeks damages for using excessive force, cruel and unusual punishment, assault and battery and gross negligence.

Police said Denyakin refused to comply with the officer's order to stop and then made a hand movement and lunged at the officer. That action prompted the officer to open fire.

Rankin was placed on administrative leave, which is standard procedure when an officer discharges his weapon.