Finley's father believes officer-involved shooting could have en - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Finley's father believes officer-involved shooting could have ended differently

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) -

The father of the man who died in the officer-involved shooting Tuesday night believes the situation could have been handled much differently.

Chris Finley, the father of Christopher Grant Finley, thought everything was okay Tuesday night after he stopped by his son's home when police were there to serve a warrant.

But after he left, a few hours later, he received life changing news.

"I said, what, you know, it was crazy," Finley said. "It was surreal. I couldn't believe."

That was how Finley reacted after an officer told him on the street his son was no longer alive.

"I don't know why it had to go this way," Finley said. "He didn't have to die."

Finley said he will not hide the fact his son had mental issues.

When asked if his son had a drug problem, Finley said if he had one it could be related to his mental health problems.

"Because of how manic depressive, bipolar people do, they want to feel normal, and so they experiment," Finley said. "I know he experimented, but I never saw him do drugs."

Documents obtained by Region 8 News confirm Finley's son did suffer from mental illnesses including bi-polar disorder, depression, and insomnia. Documents also listed multiple prescription medications Finley's son was prescribed.

A neighbor called Finley Tuesday night to tell him about the number of police at his son's home.

Finley said police wouldn't allow him to go to his son's home to talk to him. He said if they had, he could have calmed his son down.

"I said let me go talk to him," Finley said. "There's not a problem. I'll serve your warrant for you. Just let me go talk to him, get all these weapons out of here."

Finley wasn't able to speak with his son again, and now all he has left are pictures and memories of his 31-year-old son.

"I lost a piece of my heart because that was my boy," Finley said.

Finley said he's always respected the Jonesboro Police Department and their work in difficult situations, but he believes this could have ended differently.

"I don't want to smear the name, I just want answers," Finley said. "I want something that is going to give us some closure, and I want it to be fair."

Finley hopes to get those answers once Arkansas State Police concludes the investigation.

The Jonesboro Police Department does have an extensive policy regarding how officers are to approach and handle the mentally ill. 

For a list of mental health centers in Arkansas, click here.

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